New venture fund launched to invest in innovative solutions promoting transparency & responsible supply chains

U.S. based foundation Humanity United has partnered with leading brands, foundations, and impact investors to launch a $23 million venture fund aimed at leveraging innovative technology solutions to promote responsible supply chains. Working Capital is backed by the C&A Foundation, affiliated with fashion retailer C&A, the Walmart Foundation, and Walt Disney Co, amongst others, and receives additional funding from the UK’s Department for International Development. The fund focuses on solutions in areas such as product traceability, worker engagement, sourcing platforms, risk assessment, and ethical recruiting tools in order to address the need for transparency and protection for vulnerable workers in supply chains.

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Article
30 January 2018

Disney & Walmart among co's partnering with UK Govt. to invest in new technologies to tackle supply chain slavery

Author: Umberto Bacchi, Thomas Reuters Foundation

A $23 million venture fund aiming to tackle the threat of forced labour in big businesses with the help of tech startups was launched on Tuesday, backed by brands from Disney to Walmart.

Humanity United, a U.S.-based foundation, has partnered with major corporations and the British government to create Working Capital, a first-of-its-kind fund to invest in innovations to ensure that companies' supply chains are free of modern slavery.

The fund has received capital from the C&A Foundation, affiliated with fashion retailer C&A, the Walmart Foundation, and Walt Disney Co among others... 

From cosmetics and clothes to shrimp and smartphones, supply chains are often complex with multiple layers across various countries - whether in sourcing the raw materials or creating the final product - making it hard to identify exploitation...

The fund [...] is investing in new technologies to map supply chains and help workers to raise grievances, find legitimate employers, and know their rights.

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Article
30 January 2018

Humanity United launches venture fund to drive innovations for responsible supply chains

Author: Humanity United

Working Capital, an early-stage venture fund, launched today with the goal of accelerating supply chain innovations to enable corporations to operate more transparently and ethically around the world. [...] To create this first-of-its-kind fund, Humanity United teamed up with leading brands, foundations, and impact investors that share a commitment for more responsible supply chains. Working Capital operates on a shared vision of building scalable solutions to improve labor practices in the global operations and extended supply chains of multinational corporations. [...] 

“There is a growing market demand for more transparent and responsible corporate supply chains,” said Ed Marcum, Managing Director at Working Capital. “We see an opportunity to invest in emerging solutions that will meet the demands of large multinational corporations while also benefiting millions of vulnerable workers at the bottom of the economic pyramid.”

The Fund will also leverage support from the UK’s Department for International Development [...]  for pre-investment and seed-stage interventions.

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