Jessica Ellerm is a thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy and is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zuper, a neowealth disruptor in Australia
Innovation comes to the fore in times of need, and fintech companies around the world have been putting their skills to good use.
Given most individuals and businesses are asking themselves the same question – ‘what does this crisis mean for me, financially?’ – it makes sense that tools that help people and businesses answer this very question would some of the first examples of the problem/solution orientated thinking startups are renowned for.
Take innovative payroll provider Pento, who has launched a Coronavirus Furlough claim calculator, to work out how much employers can claim under the UK’s scheme. Navigating government rules and having confidence in your own interpretations is hard at the best of times, and an added pressure many business owners and finance teams will be struggling to find headspace for. Pento has elegantly tapped into a core pain point for their customers, and most likely the thousands of prospective customers they will attract through this simple but timely value add to their service.
They’re not the only fintech to get in on the game.
Countingup, which just last week announced the completion of a £4m funding round, has also built a calculator specifically aimed at helping sole traders understand their entitlements. The ING Ventures backed mobile banking and accounting app has also lifted itself up beyond pure technology enabled solutions, and it actively campaigning the UK government to do more to help small businesses. Its open letter garnered the support 250 accountancy firms across the UK and demonstrates to its customer community it is in this together with them.
Advocacy and campaigning is the type of hustle a startup can do. While banks grapple with big and tricky issues as a result of the crisis, which no one envies them for, grass roots activism for SMEs is there for the taking. Hearts won now will be hearts won for a very long time.
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