– Multiyear Initiative to expand the technology capabilities of young people in Greater Manchester and increase the talent pipeline in the tech sector
– Supports local government strategy to transform Manchester into UK technology powerhouse
DXC Technology (NYSE: DXC) and Manchester United Foundation have launched the DXC Digital Futures Academy, a four-year education program for secondary-school students in the Greater Manchester area.
Developing key social and technical skills, the Academy strives to support and empower young people, connecting them to opportunities they may otherwise not have access to, enhancing their career prospects, and shaping the future of work.
In the first wave, 50 students aged 12-13 years old will be selected for the four-year educational programme. They will be taught technology skills spanning a number of key areas including automation, big data, virtual reality, and security, as well as professional development skills.
The curriculum of the Digital Futures Academy has been co-created by DXC’s technology experts, Manchester United Foundation, and local teacher advisory groups. Together, they will use mentoring, personal development, and practical sessions to build the social leaders of the future. At the end of the program, students will be supported with pathways into further education, colleges, apprenticeships, and employment.
“We are proud to partner with Manchester United Foundation to use our technology skills to drive positive impact in local communities,” said Mary Finch, Executive Vice President, and Chief Human Resources Officer of DXC Technology. “With the Digital Futures Academy, our colleagues will use their energy, passion and technical expertise to educate and inspire young people in their academic and professional journeys.”
“This project is a year in the making and we are witnessing the start of an initiative that will demonstrate a long-term commitment to the 50 young people involved,” said John Shiels MBE, Chief Executive of Manchester United Foundation. “It demonstrates real collaboration between ourselves, teachers and DXC and it is hoped that by the end of the four-year programme, all involved will be in a position of choice as to what their adult pathway may look like.”
In addition to being Manchester United’s Digital Transformation Partner and Principal Shirt Sleeve Partner, DXC is the Presenting Partner of Manchester United Foundation. In this role, DXC is focussed on using technology to educate and inspire a new generation of STEM students. DXC and Manchester United Foundation will work closely with local government authorities, including Manchester City Council, to support the city in its mission to become a technology powerhouse. By introducing the students to key skills required in the technology sector, the Academy will help build a future pipeline of local digital talent.
“Manchester has one of the most significant digital and creative sectors in Europe. The opportunities for talented young people with tech skills are growing all the time,” said Cllr. Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council. “The Digital Futures Academy is perfectly aligned with our strategy of supporting our young people, especially those who might not previously have seen the benefits of such opportunities, to get equipped with the skills they need to succeed in key growth sectors in a thriving and inclusive economy.”
The Digital Futures Academy is one of a number of social impact initiatives that DXC is running globally. In October 2023, DXC announced the expansion of its DXC Dandelion Programme helping neurodivergent individuals to build careers in the IT industry.
Schools taking part in the Digital Futures Academy include:
1) Stretford High School, 2) Great Academy Ashton, 3) Middleton Technology School, 4) Manchester Academy, 5) Whalley Range 11-18 High School, 6) Levenshulme High School
DXC Technology (NYSE: DXC) helps global companies run their mission-critical systems and operations while modernizing IT, optimizing data architectures, and ensuring security and scalability across public, private and hybrid clouds. The world’s largest companies and public sector organizations trust DXC to deploy services to drive new levels of performance, competitiveness, and customer experience across their IT estates. Learn more about how we deliver excellence for our customers and colleagues at DXC.com.
Manchester United Foundation use football to engage and inspire young people to build a better life for themselves and unite the communities in which they live. Dedicated staff deliver educational and community outreach programmes to help young people make positive choices in their lives.
Climate tech Startup Bio-Logical raises $1m Seed round: Kenya’s Agricultural Sector to Get a Boost from Bio-Logicals Landmark Biochar Carbon Removal Facility
Climate tech company Bio-Logical has raised a $1m seed round to scale up its operations in Kenya, facilitating its mission to build climate resilient communities of smallholder farmers around the world.
Smallholder farmers are facing a dire outlook with faltering harvests, increasingly extreme weather and skyrocketing fertiliser prices becoming increasingly common due to climate change. Bio-Logical addresses this challenge through a circular economy, transforming waste into biochar, a super material that sequesters carbon for millenia and regenerates degraded soil. Their biochar is then incorporated into an organic fertiliser which is distributed to smallholder farmers in the region, regenerating land, increasing crop drought resistance and boosting yields by over 50%.
“Bio-Logical was founded on the belief that Smallholder farmers should not suffer at the hands of a climate crisis they have played no part in. At present, soil degradation and changing weather patterns due to climate change is directly threatening the livelihoods of 500 million smallholder farmers around the world.” Rory Buckworth, Co-Founder
Utilising its innovative technology, Bio-Logical’s first site will be the largest biochar production facility in Africa. It will transform over 30,000 tonnes of agricultural waste a year into biochar, sequestering 25,000 tonnes of CO2. This process will generate carbon credits, the revenue from which will be used to subsidise its resilience building fertiliser for smallholder farmers, boosting yields and reducing fertiliser costs.
“We believe carbon credits should do more than simply remove carbon from the atmosphere and instead should be used to build the resilience of climate vulnerable communities” Philip Hunter, Co-Founder
The funding round is led by the Steyn Group alongside Angel Investors Rob Konterman, Luke Calcott-Stevens and Jochem Wieringa. The round will go towards the development of Bio-Logical’s first Kenya site which will pave the way for its expansion throughout the region that will see the company scale to support 1 million smallholders and sequester 1 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2030.
According to setscale, More than 50% of US Small Businesses are Unaware of Federal Government Contracts, Losing $84 Billion a Year in Valuable Deals
Setscale, a purchase order financing company, reports on small business financing, highlighting the lack of access to US government contracts
Setscale, the purchase order financing company, released today its first-ever report on US small business financing. The report surveyed US small business owners to better understand some of the financial barriers to small business ownership, including their awareness of federal government contracts for small businesses.
More than half (52%) of all surveyed small business owners revealed that they aren’t aware of the specific contracts the US federal government awards to small businesses each year, missing out on approximately $84 billion* per year.
Government contracts are well-valued and often serve as a gateway to a steady source of income and small business growth. More than 70% (71%) of surveyed US small businesses say that they’re aware of lucrative and reliable government contracts, but more than half (52%) say they don’t know what specific contracts are available to them. And over a quarter of US small businesses (29%) are completely unaware that the federal government awards contracts to small businesses.
This report highlights that the federal government is investing in small businesses in record-high amounts, but business owners are still struggling to fill open government purchase orders. Almost 70% (69%) of US small businesses struggle with cash flow and working capital, preventing them from meeting the demand of a government contract. Many businesses pursue lines of credit from a bank or financial institution to fulfill purchase orders, but these are costly and hard to obtain. Alternative finance like purchase order financing can help these businesses secure and fulfill valuable government contracts.
Moreover, US small business owners say that a lack of cash flow and working capital prevents them from securing government contracts. At 22%, a lack of cash flow or capital is the second most popular reason that prevents US small business owners from securing a government contract. The most popular reason they aren’t securing government contracts is due to a lack of time and resources (25%).
“Our small business financing report sheds light on an issue that more than half of surveyed business owners know all too well – that even though the US federal government is awarding a record number of contracts to our small businesses, they’re still struggling financially to fulfill open purchase orders, potentially losing out on more than $80 billion each fiscal year,” comments Daniel Fine, Founder and CEO of Setscale.
“Government contracts are fierce competition for US small business owners for a reason. They’re reliable, well-valued, and often lead to steady sources of income. However, due to a lack of knowledge of the specific government contract awarding process, business owners are unsure if they can fulfill the government’s open purchase orders without pursuing a line of credit from a bank or financial institution,” elaborates Fine. “With interest rates at an all-time high, it’s an incredibly bad time to be a borrower. PO financing allows a small business to quickly bid on a contract, finance the full transaction, and scale operations to meet the size of the order.”
*In Fiscal Year 2022, the US federal government awarded $162.9B in federal contracting opportunities to small businesses. 52% of surveyed US small business owners reported that they aren’t aware of the specific contracts the US federal government awards to small businesses * $162.9B = $84B in lost opportunities.
Setscale designed and executed research for this report in collaboration with Censuswide. 251 US small business owners in companies with less than 50 employees (aged 18+) were surveyed online in October 2023. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.
Setscale is a fintech startup solving the trade financing dilemma for small businesses. Small businesses frequently get purchase orders, but don’t have the money to fill them. Through its PO financing technology, Setscale finances the cost of those goods, allowing small businesses to focus on product and sales, enabling them to scale. Setscale is an ideal partner for SMBs, coming in where traditional financial institutions won’t, enabling SMB’s to finance their growth. Setscale funds supply. You meet demand.
Monsha'at leads delegation of Saudi startups at Web Summit 2023
As part of its work to showcase the growth of the Kingdom’s SME sector, Monsha’at, the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, took part in Web Summit 2023: one of the world’s leading technology conferences.
Held from 13 to 16 November 2023 — in Lisbon, Portugal — the event provided Monsha’at the opportunity to spotlight Saudi Arabia’s most innovative SMEs. The authority led a delegation of Saudi start-ups, calling attention to their success and contributions to the national economy. Moreover, the event provided a platform for industry leaders, including policymakers, heads of state, and tech CEOs and founders, to address global challenges.
Sami Al Hussaini, Governor of Monsha’at, said: “2023 has been a landmark year for Monsha’at and the Saudi SME sector, with the number of start-ups in the Kingdom growing to over 1.2 million. While we have made a great deal of progress, we can achieve more. Launching innovative partnerships with businesses and entities around the world is essential. Events such as Web Summit 2023 enable us to do that, immersing some of our leading start-ups in an energized environment conducive to collaboration, innovation and growth.”
Saudi Arabia’s start-up ecosystem is currently undergoing a period of rapid growth. Amid the continued expansion of its non-oil sector, the Kingdom achieved one of the highest economic growth rates in the world last year and has been recognized as one of the best-performing countries in terms of leveraging reforms to improve its business environment. In Q2 2023, the Kingdom led the region in VC funding and capital raised, accounting for 42% of MENA funding at a value of $446 million.
Among the Saudi start-ups participating in Web Summit 2023 were: Zid, Lendo, Nuqtah, Syarah, Asasat Advanced Systems, Wosul, Kabi, Master Works, resal, WhiteHelmet, Mustadem, and Tachyon.
Monsha’at’s participation at WebSummit follows its recent participation in other world-class conferences, including SWITCH Singapore, and ComeUp Korea, where it has helped connect some of the Kingdom’s leading start-ups with the international business and investment communities.
Monsha’at was established in 2016 with the aim of regulating, supporting, developing, and sponsoring the SME sector in the Kingdom in accordance with global best practices, in order to increase the productivity of SMEs and their contribution to GDP.
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