Will started work at Farmdrop. November promoting Good Jobs, broadly from Living Wage Employers.
The longterm implications of COVID become more certain. Small companies are trying to survive. Larger companies (100,000) are designing for 2021+ and the new status of frontline workers. Skills interoperability is at the forefront. BLM has a response – BAME in Hospitality. We broaden our courses offering to go beyond Coffee – now there are curated courses for digital skills and in-demand sectors, social care and technical support. Our first customers land.
After enabling free online training for baristas, nearly 200 baristas enroled in the courses, completing over 750 hours of training. By the end of May, coffee shops started to open up in London – we updated the website with COVID-19 measures and a related courses – COVID-19 Awareness from CPD Online College – which staff can self-enrol in for free. A short online profile in a South African barista magazine. We profile American coffee shops putting provisions on the shelf.
The quarter slammed shut with the spike in COVID-19. Before this, South Africa and seeing how new the country is on purchasing training software. Coffee continues to be a focus in the country with specialty coffee growing in market share but still tiny when compared with UK and US. Since frontline employees won’t be able to get onto the floor, we are providing free online training for baristas at Tendo. We’ve recently blogged on the re-integration of middle-age workers and photographer Jake Green who profiles the variety of roles at the top of the coffee supply chain in “Drink My Sweat.”
Tendo took first outside investment and joined Bethnal Green Venture’s incubator (20k for 6%). Those plugged into the UK General Election might have noticed the Liberal Democrats insert “Skills Wallets” into their manifesto, mirroring what Kamala Harris has proposed across the pond. The living wage campaign gains momentum, with rates for 2019/20 lifted to £9.30 (national) and £10.75 (London) dictating minimum pay for 6,000 participating companies (210,000 employees). The repositioning of the employee as a vital stakeholder chimes with ESG topics, the post-war backstory to which is outlined in Rick Wartzman’s “The End of Loyalty” (book review).
Entering the last quarter of the year, comes with major change after being accepted by Bethnal Green Ventures’ Autumn 2019 “Tech for Good” incubator programme. This includes the provison of £20k for 6% fixed equity. We continue to work using Slicing Pie, dynamic equity directed by weekly reporting of hours between orangejellyfish and Will Ross. New blog posts include.
Will has been working 20 hours per week in a Vietnamese restaurant in Soho. These present an opportunity to better understand the problem of low income work – the wage is £8.21 per hour – and see what digital product can do to solve. No major product update in the last quarter, more continued community development (Employees) and conversations around next stages of financing. Early July also marks one year since incorporating in 2018.
After struggling to get a pilot customer, Will shall be taking a job in a Vietnamese restaurant in Soho, London. The app is stable, so this R&D will provide a chance to link with an employer and asses their appetite for retention-orientated solutions, while testing the product from a worker’s perspective. Meanwhile social media accounts have been established with Twitter being the most useful. Blog posts from the previous quarter covered research from The Resolution Foundation, the argument behind The Good Jobs Strategy and Will’s notes from a trial shift at Chipotle.
Product: Released uni-directional flow at app.tendo.com to allow employers to accredit their workforces over SMS (USA, UK, South Africa). Travel: Visit to D.C. to attend launch of a tooling for better jobs, a partnerhips betweeen The Aspen Institute and Working Metrics. The year ended with two weeks in Johannesburg, meeting with companies involved in downtown renewal.