Tech For Good – An insight into social impact businesses

‘Tech For Good’

One of ERUPT’s key themes for this year is looking at utilising ‘Technology For Good’ in order to become a social impact business. More and more start-ups have brought these concepts to life, whilst being committed to providing a purpose through the enablement of technology.

Initiatives are collaborating with people across the world to target under-served groups in order to make a social difference and solve world problems. Business strategies might include reducing disposable fast fashion by allowing democratic access to up-cycling, or efficiently connecting care providers with those seeking care such as families and local authorities.


Excellence in Leadership Conference 2019

In order to promote ‘Tech For Good’, we have reflected on our Excellence in Leadership Conference in 2019. This panel spoke about start-ups in relation to using technology for a better cause.

The panel consisted of 3 co-founders from technology organisations which have all had their own success stories:

Lindsey Noakes (who was Co-Founder at Gather)

Seb Barker (Co-Founder & COO at Beam)

Jamie Crummie (CEO at Too Good to Go)

Gather utilise data to provide places around the world with toilets to tackle the sanitation crisis. They use this technology to find locations across the world where people don’t have access to toilets. They successively provide a fundamental human right which many people such as gender minorities, young children and disadvantaged people, are deprived of. Lindsey expressed how fundamental it is for the success of the charity to have consultant advisors and private tech companies who help them to manage their data.

Beam measure their success by utilising a crowdfunding platform to reduce financial barriers for homeless people. When funding is sustained, they are able to find homeless people new careers and provide a path to success.

Too Good to Go is the largest B2C platform on the app store. It provides an answer to the food waste problem where food from establishments would otherwise go to waste. Since its launch, Too Good to Go has helped over 50 million users save over 100 million meals through more than 130,000 cafés.


Funding ‘Tech For Good’

Within the conference, Jamie discussed how the younger generation are more inclined to understand and facilitate sustainability by having a shared goal to do good for the planet. He also believed that unlike non-profit charities, Too Good to Go is a commercial model and a business that generates revenue. He stated that there is a future shift of more sustainable business models and dynamic ways of promoting environmental and social issues; something that we are now seeing in 2022.

Lindsey addressed how Gather relies on goodwill and investors to survive and sculpt their business. They try to differentiate by looking at the systemic change to transform ways in which sustainability is delivered across the world. Unlike other start-ups, Gather has a busy charity landscape and must rely on the transparency of trust from their patrons.

Seb then provided an insight into the impact that investors and crowdfunding have had on Beam. Due to their leverage model and ability to cover operational overheads, Beam has avoided seeking venture capitalists but instead have used a longer funding process which has helped guide and evolve their business model.


CSR – Mentalities and guidance that businesses should pay attention to

Lindsey suggested that lending expertise to an organisation that will need help is the most important step. Gather has thrived by using skilled volunteers to drive their workforce. Lindsey also suggested that it is important to encourage businesses to aid smaller charities that don’t have the same recognition as the larger named charities.

Jamie implied that the awareness of the climate crisis is one of the main concerns. He encouraged the significance of informing and educating staff in order for businesses to unite and promote the culture of real change.

As well as using technology to provide the basis of their business, all three businesses have the ability to use technology to build organically and track how they can see their results; the number of meals saved through the app, disease control tracking and amount of homeless people whose lives have transformed.

Click here to watch the full video.

Written by Jasmine Mitchell, Growth Marketing Executive – Annapurna Recruitment


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