Deliveroo has unveiled a new package of measures, called Deliveroo Academy, to give riders free training courses and opportunities to grow their own businesses in future.

Riders will be offered access to more than 300 free online training courses, from how to write a CV to learning a language to web design.

Last year an independent study commissioned by Deliveroo showed that almost 40% of riders said they wanted to start their own business, so Deliveroo is launching ‘The Big Pitch’, which offers riders the chance to win investment into their business ideas by pitching to a panel of investors, Dragon’s Den style.

Deliveroo will offer:

  • ‘The Big Pitch’

Deliveroo riders will be given the opportunity for some of the world’s leading investors to invest in their business idea. Riders will be invited to submit applications to participate, and Deliveroo will then shortlist 10 riders to take part in a one day workshop led by expert Deliveroo business mentors including representatives from DST Global, Accel Ventures and Index Ventures.

  • Online learning to grow a business

Deliveroo is extending the support it offers for riders to start their own business though new, free, online learning courses.

These courses include how to build a sales strategy, how to set up a business in the UK and learning some of the key traits that help start-ups and entrepreneurs to succeed.

From app development to product management, Deliveroo is funding 40 scholarships this year to accredited bachelor-level degree programmes from leading universities.

In the UK 10 riders have already begun these courses in iOS development, front end development and Full stack Development.

  • Online learning to develop ‘soft skills’

Deliveroo is extending its online learning offer for riders to include soft skills, enabling riders to get a Certificate of Achievement they can use for future job applications if they seek employment in the future.

These online soft skills will include job search strategy, support in developing a career plan, support in how to pick the right job, support in working autonomously and in preparing professional written documents, such as a CV.

  • Apprenticeships

92% of apprentices said their career prospects had improved as a result of completing an apprenticeship. Deliveroo is helping riders to access apprenticeships in a range of areas including marketing, HR, web development or business management, as well as at Deliveroo’s HQ in London.

Deliveroo is also currently working with restaurant partners to create apprenticeships in restaurants.

  • Rider references

New employers sometimes ask for proof of someone’s previous work. To help riders seeking traditional employment, Deliveroo will now provide an ‘information pack’ for a new employer, which would include some details around a riders’ work with Deliveroo, which can also be used when a rider rents or buys a new house, ensuring working in the on-demand economy is not a barrier to those seeking new opportunities.

Deliveroo founder and CEO of Deliveroo Will Shu, who is attending ‘Tech for Good’ said: “Riders work with Deliveroo because of the flexibility it gives them to fit work around their lives.

“We know that lots of riders want to create their own start-up and it’s exciting to be able to help them along their journey. Many riders are also looking for the opportunity to study or learn new skills, so we’re delighted to be able to offer a package of support from learning soft skills to setting up a business.

“Riders are at the heart of all we do and we are determined to back them whatever they want to do next”.