Today we published our 2022 Annual Report. The report presents evidence of how investments in technology-driven startups have led to scaled impact on issues that matter to marginalized workers and their employers, as well as the brands that source products around the world.
Since our inception in 2017, the market for responsible supply chain management tools has been transformed, in part due to regulation requiring large companies, including multinationals, to account for human rights and labor rights risk in their operations and global sourcing. Working Capital Fund’s seventeen portfolio companies support this trend towards private sector accountability by using technology that engages workers directly; enhances supply chain transparency; validates social and environmental claims; and helps companies make money by being responsible.
The 2022 Annual Report highlights the evidence that Fund investments are gaining traction with mainstream business, including:
“In 2017 when we started the Fund, we hypothesized that there were investible start-ups which could have impact, at scale, for workers in supply chains, and that they’d find growing revenue while doing so. Now in 2022, we’re seeing evidence that validates our approach,” said Dan Viederman, Managing Partner. “Our portfolio companies are scaling, delivering impact directly to millions of workers, and changing the way multinationals understand social risk and opportunity. The innovation that we support is replacing the tired audit-based social responsibility paradigm of the past two decades, ushering in a new era of end-to-end transparency. We are finding emerging technologies that can be usefully applied to the supply chain, and tracking the impact that results.”
Working Capital Fund is grateful for the support from the Laudes Foundation that has enabled its deep approach to impact management and measurement. The Fund commits further to documenting the way in which its investments have changed the experience of workers, and influenced corporate procurement decisions, in future reports.
WCIF was established in 2017 with a unique mission and a highly differentiated thesis about how to support systemic improvements in the protection of labor rights. It invests in companies that provide tools that enable brands, retailers, and suppliers to source responsibly and which workers can use to their own benefit. Corporations and suppliers are the primary customers for these tools, but the ultimate beneficiaries of the Fund’s investments will be the millions of vulnerable workers at the bottom of global supply chains and their families.