Small Business Owners Unclear On AI
Research from website platform Zyro has found that 41% of small business owners don’t understand what Artificial Intelligence is. However, they seem keen to adopt the technology if it can improve their operations, with 57% keen to learn how AI could improve their businesses, and 51% would adopt AI if it helped saved them time. There is still a barrier for the sector to overcome however, as 44% believe AI is for technology professionals rather than small business owners.
Investment Into UK Impact Startups Surges
New research from Tech Nation and Dealroom reveals that investment into UK impact startups (startups addressing one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals) increased 9.5x between 2014 and 2019. UK impact startups have raised €1.4B so far in 2020 with Cleantech and Climate tech companies raising the most capital of all UK impact startups.
New Platform Launches To Replicate Office Interactions
ZING, a new video platform sets out to try and combat some of the problems SMEs are experiencing with video communications. Matt Bittlestone, Founder at ZING, comments, “Covid-19 means half the country is currently working from home, according to the ONS. Working from home means video calls – and lots of them. ZING has been designed to replicate the end of the working day – leaving the formal office ‘meeting room’ behind and heading to an environment more akin to the ‘pub’.” ZING offers built-in games and allows users to move between different groups.
SME Bank Alica Sees Surge In Demand Outside Of COVID Schemes
SME challenger bank Allica has announced lending numbers of over £100m since June, reporting a wave of demand for SME financing separate to the COVID-19 lending schemes run by the government. The bank has also released stats from a new UK finance survey, showing a 64% drop in the supply of SME lending outside of government schemes, with mid-sized SMEs likely to be the worst hit.
Data Could Be More Important Since Onset of COVID-19
Research from data analytics company Teradata has found that data is increasingly important to the business response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 92% of UK respondents advocated for data and its role in recovery, however 28% also felt that trust in data has been challenged during the past few months.