As the workforce continues to evolve, the World Economic Forum estimates that one billion people will need new job skills by 2030. Lack of access to education and training, particularly for those in low-paying jobs, make it challenging to learn the skills needed to retain stable employment or move into better-paying jobs. A new investment in Mercy Investment Services’ Inclusive Opportunities Fund is helping bring essential job training to foster economic and social mobility for underserved populations in essential sectors.
Launched in 2020, Firework Ventures, a women-owned and -led fund, invests in technology that drives economic mobility such as Transfr, one of Firework’s portfolio companies. Transfr’s mission is to train the future of every industry and open up exciting new opportunities for talent across the globe and at home. Transfr helps underrepresented populations, including U.S. community college students, launch their careers. Transfr focuses on fast-growing, high-demand middle skills jobs, including health sciences, manufacturing, construction and automotive repair. Middle-skill jobs are those that require some post-secondary training but not a four-year degree. These jobs make up more than 50% of jobs in the U.S., pay at least a living wage (often much higher), and provide clear paths for upward mobility. Transfr uses immersive, hands-on virtual reality training to train the talent of tomorrow.
Mercy Investment Services’ Inclusive Opportunities Fund invests in groups who have been shut out of traditional capital markets and overlooked by mainstream investors including funds owned and/or led by women, people of color and other disenfranchised groups; racial, gender, and other diverse-owned founders and/or diverse-led managers; companies addressing the unmet needs of underserved populations, and/or communities seeking responsible social and economic inclusion in the developing world. Learn about our first Inclusive Opportunities Fund investment.