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Andy Start

The economic and employment implications of Covid-19 are likely to be felt for years to come.

Yet from these dark economic times stories of innovation and entrepreneurialism are emerging, where people and businesses are seizing opportunities and nurturing the green shoots of recovery.

People have had the opportunity to reflect on what they want from life over the last few months – the Coronavirus pandemic has afforded them the luxury of time to really get creative and re-imagine their own futures. So, could a new spirit of entrepreneurialism help to revive post-pandemic Britain?

There are many advantages to starting a business now. We’re living in a digital age, which means the barriers to starting your own business have been lowered in some industries. This can provide the perfect environment for start-ups to grow. There’s no need to spend big on premises, travel or attending marketing events – businesses can start on a shoestring.

You only have to look online, at sites like Etsy and Facebook, to see examples of people who have seized the opportunity to meet the demand for Covid-19-related items such as face masks and plastic screens. While not every one of these businesses will turn into a huge enterprise, their founders are using their initiative and digital solutions to earn an income.

On a larger scale, health start-ups are flourishing. Cera Care is using technology to provide affordable care through a platform that helps to arrange home visits within 24 hours1.

The insurance sector is also seeing numerous new entrants. Neos, for example, is using technology to create a smarter kind of home insurance2 and Lemonade has seen its shares double after floating on the US stock exchange, after only five years3. And in e-commerce, Trouva helps 900 independent boutiques to sell online; during the pandemic it enabled 70% of them to keep trading4.

The Chancellor announced in April that UK businesses driving innovation and development would be helped by a £1.25bn support package – including a £500m investment fund for high growth companies5. The Government clearly recognises that investing now in the creativity, energy and skills of UK start-ups is essential to drive post-pandemic recovery and growth.

Helping start-ups to grow at Capita

Capita is committed to supporting SMEs - 46% of our suppliers fall into this category. We also have a dedicated business, Capita Scaling Partners, to help start-ups to grow and succeed; it provides them with strategic access to our network of clients, suppliers, investors and subject matter experts to secure long-term sustainable growth.

We’ve supported companies such as Artificial, which provides digital solutions to insurance companies, and Dragonfly AI, which is disrupting the way that companies create and optimise content. We’re constantly looking for new start-ups to support – and we engage partners such as FounderVine to help entrepreneurs from marginalised communities to get the support they need but can’t easily find.

The UK faces a significant challenge but, by supporting entrepreneurs, Capita stands poised to help to turbo-charge our recovery and play our part in reviving post-pandemic Britain.

Written by

Andy Start

Andy Start

Chief Executive Officer, Capita Government Services

Joined Capita in August 2019 as the Chief Executive Officer of Capita Government Services, one of the largest strategic suppliers to UK government. He leads a team of over 10,000 staff who enable clients across government globally to deliver better outcomes for citizens, at lower cost to taxpayers.

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