Government invests £3m in ‘digital social enterprises’

The UK government has announced £3 million in funding for "digital social enterprises", technology start-ups whose aim to address social issues in the country.

The funding will go to two start-up incubators: Wayra UnLtd and Bethnal Green Ventures.

Wayra UnLtd, which will receive £1.8 million, is a new joint venture between Telefónica Digital's incubator scheme Wayra and UnLtd, a social enterprise incubator scheme based in London.

Bethnal Green Ventures, which will receive £1.2 million, is a scheme that invests £15,000 in digital social enterprises in return for a 6% stake. Companies it has backed include green cloud analytics provider MastodonC and online medical appointment booking service DrDoctor.

The funding is the first to be awarded by the government's Social Incubator Fund, which was announced last year.

"There is no shortage of social entrepreneurs in the UK with the ideas, passion and talent to create successful businesses that improve lives," said Nick Hurd, minister for civil society. "We also have a talented and growing technology community in the UK.  Increasingly we’re seeing these two come together, with innovative entrepreneurs and start-ups harnessing the power of technology to create real change for people and communities."

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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