Innovation has always been the driving force behind progress and development – but not everyone has equal access to it. So many people are left out of the innovation ecosystem due to social and economic barriers.
Yet, time and time again, inclusivity and diversity has been proven to have a drastic impact on innovation and the economy.
What can we do about it?
At Groundswell Innovation, we understand the value of innovation inclusivity. That’s why we support the Inclusive Innovation Network (IIN) which has been set up to place inclusion at the core of innovation, to facilitate quicker growth and more equitable prosperity for individuals and communities.
Their goal is to create a diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem that supports and empowers underrepresented groups, including women, people of colour, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from low-income backgrounds.
If everyone had the same inventive capacity as white men from high-income families, the rate of innovation would quadruple.
And people from families below the national median income are 10 times less likely to become inventors compared to the top 1% of families.
These statistics are not just alarming, they are a call to action. That’s where the IIN comes in – to foster inclusive innovation through the creation of a platform where people and organisations from various sectors and backgrounds can collaborate and network. The organisation hosts regular events and workshops where members can share their experiences, learn from each other, and collaborate.
By providing platforms for collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and networking, they’re helping to bridge the gap and empower underrepresented individuals and communities. This, in turn, can increase participation, enhance innovation, and bring economic benefits to society.
Just think; if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men, an astonishing £250 billion of new value could be added to the UK economy.
Similarly, the immense talent within BME communities could boost the economy by a further £24 billion.
These stats, alongside the fact that a mere 1 in 7 applications for Innovate UK funding come from women, once again demonstrates the fundamental problem (and obvious solution) that is hindering our progress towards inclusivity.
The economic advantages of promoting inclusivity and diversity in the UK is undeniable – by fostering diversity and inclusion in innovation, we can ignite growth, cultivate creativity, and tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges.