Incubating the next generation of change-makers in finance.

The Lab’s Fellowship programme supports innovators who are building financial businesses that put people and planet first.

This unique programme builds strategic know-how, collaborative leadership skills and a community of peers who will support each other to succeed. In 2017, we’ll be working with Toynbee Hall to find the brightest and best ideas that can improve financial health.

Read our evaluation of the 2016 Fellowship programme.

What is Lab Fellowship?

Lab Fellowship is a six-month programme developing the leadership capacity and business skills of pioneers in financial health. It includes monthly business strategy sessions, peer coaching sessions, mentoring, specialist workshops and two residential leadership retreats.

Unlike intensive classroom-based incubators, the Fellowship programme is focussed on action learning, community development and collaborative leadership. The sessions significantly increase Fellows’ confidence in dealing with the wider financial system and their ability to develop businesses with real potential to disrupt the financial system.

Our 2017 focus is financial health. We’re looking for ideas that address financial exclusion and exploitation, offering access to fairly priced financial products that are easy to understand and control, and support people’s financial welfare.

Why financial health?

1.7 million adults remain unbanked in Britain today. Only 41% of British households are saving, while 12 million people lack access to affordable credit. Financial exclusion damages mental and physical health, undermines social relationships and can affect households’ ability to fulfil basic needs such as food and heating.

Current approaches to tackling these issues often result in products designed from the top-down, with a focus on providing access to products that don’t work for the reality of many people’s lives. We want to support innovations that work from the bottom-up, with a focus on what people need and want, and an understanding of the wider factors that drive financial ill-health. These ideas might be at an early stage, but they should have the potential to positively disrupt the financial system and challenge the rules of the game in financial health.

Who can take part?

We’re looking for people who are actively developing a financial product or service which puts financial health at the heart of the business model. The programme is designed for start-up businesses, but we also welcome applications from innovators within existing financial organisations who want to repurpose a product or service to support financial health.

You can meet the 2016 cohort here. 

How can I apply to be a Fellow?

You can register your interest our 2017 Fellowship here. If you’d like to receive news, views and invitations to events from The Finance Innovation Lab, please follow @TheFinanceLab on twitter & sign up to our newsletter below.


“Being part of a community has really been invaluable for me over the past 6 months. It has been a safe environment to share challenges, create common solutions where other fellows may have faced similar hurdles. It has allowed a new side of me to grow around entrepreneurship.”
- 2016 Fellow

Find out more:


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Meet The Fellows

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Register Your Interest

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