51. HACE

HACE is a business that's using AI to pioneer a future free from child labour, by interrogating supply chains at vast scale and speed.

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Social Impact Award Shortlisted

In recognition of the startup which is putting purpose ahead of profit, with evidence of a commitment to making the world a better place with its business model.

Startups 100: Social Impact Award

Founder: Eleanor Harry
Year founded: 2020
Website: thisishace.com

Child labour – defined as work that is mentally, physically, socially, or emotionally harmful to children that interrupts schooling – is a violation to fundamental human rights. Currently, there are an estimated 160 million children in child labour in the world, which has increased by eight million children since 2016. This is equivalent to more than twice the population of the UK. As the stark numbers indicate, child labour is embedded in supply chains around the globe.

In response to this dire situation, North West startup, HACE has developed The Child Labour Index. As investors increasingly apply Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors when identifying risks and growth opportunities, this AI-powered specialised ESG rating scores companies and portfolios across three performance indicators, giving organisations complete oversight of their supply chains.

Founder Eleanor Harry started HACE in 2020 after working for a decade in the cotton, fishing, and fast fashion supply industries. Due to the global nature of these chains, blind spots were created that allowed child labour to hide. “If they don’t have visibility, then they cannot see problems and therefore they cannot design impactful solutions,” she explains. “The key to scale was technology and the key to that technology was data and AI.”

If they don't have visibility, then they cannot see problems and therefore they cannot design impactful solutions.

What makes HACE's AI-powered Child Labour Index stand out is that it is the only quantitative metric currently available that allows investors and organisations to monitor company performance in real time. The scores are updated daily and include billions of data points, helping generate more accurate results.

Whilst not yet at market stage, for a female founder operating in an under-served area of ESG, the Startups judges were impressed by Harry’s investment achievements. The startup has raised £280k in the past year.
With the needs of children and companies at its core, we believe that HACE can have an active part to play in improving businesses’ ESG processes and huge scope to grow.

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