Rapidpivot F

Paramjit Uppal, Founder and CEO at AND Digital 

Leading digital enablement specialist, AND Digital, has secured £50k of funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to develop its digital enablement platform, RapidPivot – the first of its kind in the market.

RapidPivot will help SMEs rapidly take their businesses online, aiding national efforts to rebuild the nation’s economy post-Covid.

Small businesses are at the heart of the UK economy, and continue to face long-term challenges presented by Covid-19. One in four companies have already resorted to permanently closing their doors, while others have been forced to adapt their business models to establish new sources of revenue.

In many cases, this involves transferring services online, but a lack of digital knowledge and limited financial resources can make this difficult for many business owners to achieve. As SMEs account for 99.9% of UK businesses, it is vital that cost-effective solutions are created quickly to help boost economic efforts as lockdown eases.  

Developed by the Manchester-based arm of AND Digital, Club Kilburn, and selected from over 10,000 entries, RapidPivot was chosen for its innovative approach, simplicity in design and ability to be rapidly implemented to create a wide societal impact. Partnering with leading online service providers (such as Shopify, Xero and Square), the platform will provide a roadmap for small businesses, catering to their individual needs, financial budgets and technical expertise. Whether companies simply seek to limit cash handling, or enable a full online delivery service, RapidPivot will offer a concise list of service recommendations, even breaking down the spend and sales required to pay back the costs each month.

Paramjit Uppal, founder and CEO at AND Digital, said: “A core part of our ethos is to empower and upskill our clients in digital skills, and this is exactly what RapidPivot encompasses.

“The events of Covid-19 have shone a spotlight on the digital skills gap in the UK, as many SMEs attempt to shift processes online. Lacking the budgets to invest in new websites and, in some cases, the digital know-how to take the best approach, small companies are facing huge disadvantages as they attempt to stay afloat.

“Projects such as RapidPivot support companies by enabling them to diversify and improve their digital capabilities quickly, helping to bridge the digital divide. We are proud to play a role in supporting the nation at this time, and I am hopeful that this is the first of many of our projects to provide real, tangible help for the business community with support from Innovate UK.”

Executive Chair, Innovate UK, Dr Ian Campbell, said: “Businesses from all over the UK have answered our call rapidly to meet the challenges we face today and in the future through the power of innovation. The ideas we have seen can truly make a significant impact on society, improve the lives of individuals, especially those in vulnerable groups and enable businesses to prosper in challenging circumstances.”

The project’s 3-month development plan is already in motion, as AND Digital mobilises a specialist team and initiates market research. Once operational, around September this year, the platform’s creators hope to connect UK small businesses with providers such as iZettle, Wordpress, Paypal, Deliveroo and Stripe, among many others.

Bethany Wright
Article by Bethany Wright
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