The UK’s a global leader in ‘tech for good’

These so-called ‘tech for good’ were worth £2.3 billion in 2018, with a turnover of £732 million. That’s more than the amount generated by the manufacture of consumer electronics in the UK (£634 million).

These young, dynamic businesses are making contributions in areas including edtech (10.3% of total companies), fintech (9.2%) and artificial intelligence (8%).

According to the report, ‘tech for good’ companies are having a significant knock-on effect on the wider economy. Many for-profit businesses are successfully pursuing both financial and social returns, using sustainable models that create employment and economic growth, as well as an array of positive societal impacts.

Norwegian Refugee Council’s digital transformation strategy

Technology has the potential to improve productivity and boost profits. But, more importantly, the applications of technology can help address the most abhorrent social and environmental issues facing the modern world — tech for good

“I’m pleased to see the UK’s ‘tech for social good’ sector is not only having a positive societal impact but is also making a significant contribution to the economy,” said the UK’s Digital Secretary, Jeremy Wright.

“We are working hard to support those in the field by improving charities’ digital skills, boosting access to finance for social tech ventures and backing an awards scheme to celebrate up-and-coming entrepreneurs. I look forward to meeting some of the sector’s leading minds today to discuss how we can make sure the UK is a global leader in this area.”

Technology as the basis for learning: What the UK can learn from the US

As ‘curation’ becomes the fifth ‘c’ in American education, what can the UK learn from the States’ approach, where technology and critical thinking form the basis for all learning?

Tech Nation’s report emphasised that maintaining the UK’s unique position requires dedicated, strategic support from venture capital and other organisations. To date, profit-seeking tech-for-good businesses in the UK have collectively raised £1.09bn in venture capital.

“Tech Nation’s analysis is the first of its kind. This understanding of the “tech for social good” landscape across the UK provides an important framework for a growing industry,” said Richard Brass, Head of Wealth and Asset Management UK at Berenberg. “Alongside BT, we are hopeful that it will bring greater transparency and awareness of how businesses are using technology to make a large-scale positive impact. We hope this report will act as an exciting catalyst for change.”

Avatar photo

Andrew Ross

As a reporter with Information Age, Andrew Ross writes articles for technology leaders; helping them manage business critical issues both for today and in the future