Good news Friday: Female funds, bee venom, yoga classes

This week, we’re celebrating a $10mn investment in female entrepreneurs, work-based yoga classes and cancer-killing bee venom

Female Innovators Lab Fund

Insurance company Aviva announced an investment of $10 million into the Anthemis Female Innovators Lab Fund. The fund, founded in September 2019, backs female entrepreneurs in the fintech industry across the UK, Europe, Canada and the US. Aviva’s investment will specifically support female-founded, UK-based fintech firms. 

“Female entrepreneurs currently lead just 4% of UK tech startups and this needs to change,” says Ben Luckett, Chief Innovation Officer at Aviva. “The Female Innovators Fund is one way we can support this untapped talent. 

“Working with the Fund means more than just a financial contribution, we will have opportunities to partner with, learn from and invest directly in start-ups where they may benefit Aviva and our customers. We are very excited to work alongside Anthemis and Barclays to help reduce gender inequality in financial services.”

Lunchtime yoga

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that every workplace should offer yoga to employees to help reduce spiralling rates of depression among employees. The WHO also called for managers to undergo mental health training to spot employees who are struggling. 

“It’s time to focus on the detrimental effect work can have on our mental health,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director general. “The wellbeing of the individual is reason enough to act, but poor mental health can also have a debilitating impact on a person’s performance and productivity.

“These new guidelines can help prevent negative work situations and cultures and offer much-needed mental health protection and support for working people.”

Honey bee venom 

A study from the University of Western Australia and the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research recently found that bee venom kills cells for the triple-negative breast cancer in under 60 minutes. 

This type of cancer is one of the hardest to treat, and lead researcher Dr. Ciara Duffy has shared that it could contain clues to a brighter future.

“Honeybee venom is available globally and offers cost-effective and easily accessible treatment options in remote or less developed regions. Further research will be required to assess whether the venom of some genotypes of bees has more potent or specific anticancer activities, which could then be exploited,” the researchers wrote in the press release.


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