Made in Britain: Data technology firm, InfoShare

Pamela Cook talks to Business Matters about why her data-tech company, InfoShare, looks to identify and help vulnerable people through data.

What is the background to your business?

Infoshare was born in Kingston-Upon-Thames over 20 years ago. Its inception was a result of the growing role that data has in all our lives and the recognition of the real-world impact when that data is inaccurate. Due to advances in technology, things like AI and machine learning have moved out of science fiction and into the mainstream. However, any software that uses data is only as good as the data that goes in – ‘good enough’ data is no longer good enough when the insights gained are relied upon to make critical decisions. There was an opportunity to help organisations to trust in their data, so they could use it for good.

I took over as CEO of InfoShare in 2010, … Read the rest

Travel expert and mum uses lockdown to launch new business providing luxury wellbeing retreats

2020 began just like any other year, except it wasn’t. Just three months into the year the UK was put into a national lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, and everything changed.

The pandemic has impacted people all over the world, and in more ways than one. And not just people, but businesses, too.

Whilst it was a tough time for many, business owners were forced to think on their feet and now, we are seeing an influx of new businesses that were founded through lockdown and now, not only are they surviving, but they’re also thriving.

Victoria Cranmer, a travel and mindfulness expert and mum, founded Mindful Escapes throughout lockdown after spotting a gap in the market for well-being retreats designed to help protect both mental and physical health.

She said, “At the beginning of 2020, my travel business Paradise Promotions was in a position where it was expected … Read the rest

Made in Britain: Vegan takeaway company, DabbaDrop

Anshu Ahuja talks to Business Matters about her vegan takeaway firm, DabbaDrop, and her golden rules for success.

Tell us about your business?

The idea for DabbaDrop came about when I was working as a TV Producer. Life was busy and there were always lots of decisions to be made.

My husband and I would order a takeaway and it would usually take a good half an hour to decide what to eat. Trying to find a restaurant that has good vegan or vegetarian options was always harder. By the time the meal turned up it would be 10pm; too late to eat. The food itself was never as fresh or delicious as we imagined it would be. Plus, there were often the plastic containers which we’d feel so guilty about.

I’m a Mumbai-born, passionate home cook who in 2014 was selected as one of the finalists on the food … Read the rest

UK tech leaders team up to fight climate crisis, drive green investment and help 100 million make greener choices

Leading UK tech companies are joining forces to accelerate progress to net zero, support tech companies in making a climate action plan and use tech to help the 100 million customers they serve live more sustainably.

The Tech Zero taskforce officially launches in London today and is targeting 1,000 members by COP26 this November.

The Tech Zero taskforce is led by Bulb co-founder and CEO Hayden Wood, industry body Tech Nation, and includes fast-growing British tech firms allplants, Babylon, Citymapper, Faculty, GoCardless, Habito, Hopin, Moneysupermarket Group, OLIO, Onfido, Revolut, Starling Bank, what3words and Wise.

These companies have transformed industries including banking, energy and healthcare, and are now coming together to boost the UK’s fight against the climate crisis.

Companies who join Tech Zero commit to measure all of their emissions and set an ambitious net zero target by the end of 2021. They’ll also commit to:

  • Annually measure and publish

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McDonald’s are the latest company hit by data breach

McDonald’s is the latest big company to be hit by a data breach that has exposed customers’ details.

The world’s biggest burger chain said cyber attackers had accessed a “small number” of files on customers in South Korea and Taiwan.

The breach included e-mail, delivery addresses and phone numbers – but not payment details.

A spokeswoman for the firm said it would take steps to “notify regulators and customers listed in these files”.

The details of the breach, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, were discovered during an external investigation after unauthorised activity was spotted on the company’s network.

The company said its “substantial investment” in cyber security meant it was identified quickly.

“These tools allowed us to quickly identify and contain recent unauthorised activity on our network. A thorough investigation was conducted, and we worked with experienced third parties to support this investigation,” it said.

Operations at its

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Three quarters of SMEs struggle to innovate due to outdated technology

More than three quarters of SMEs with restrictive budgets are struggling to compete with bigger organisations due to the lack of access to innovative technology, impacting their ability to grow and enlist talent, according to new research.

The survey found some 84 per cent of small businesses say they are unable to keep up with the bigger budgets of larger organisations for technology innovation and digital transformation, with nearly half saying it is restricting growth and nearly the same number saying it has impacted their ability to recruit.

Combined with the impact of COVID-19, a lack of fit-for-purpose technology options and prohibitive costs could lead to many SMEs losing out long-term if they do not take advantage of more flexible and cost-effective solutions.

The research found Technology concerns moved way beyond operational efficiencies, however. A third of businesses surveyed said they felt they were exposed to cyber security risks by … Read the rest

Government spent over £30,000 promoting flop Pick For Britain scheme that failed to recruit British volunteers to save country’s crops

The Government spent more than £30,000 promoting the failed Pick For Britain scheme as farmers could not recruit the 60,000 British volunteers needed to save UK crops when the coronavirus pandemic stopped seasonal foreign workers from entering the last year.

Yet £29,830 was spent between April 2020 and April 2021 on the failed scheme, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) told the Daily Mail in a response to a Freedom of Information request.

The figure includes £1,424 paid to Concordia Ltd, a volunteering and international work placements charity, for a film of UK farm workers ‘used to create promotional recruitment materials for the Pick for Britain campaign’, the department’s response read.

Another £2,500 was then paid to the National Union of Students (NUS) so the Government could find out what went wrong after the scheme was scrapped in April 2021.

Pick for Britain, brought in by the … Read the rest

Made in Britain: Go-karting company, TeamKarting

Matty Street talks to us about how his karting company, TeamKarting, has been his saviour and how they survived the pandemic.

What’s the background to your business?

I was diagnosed with dyslexia, dyspraxia and Asperger’s whilst at school. When I was 12, I discovered the world of motorsport through karting and found it really helped me to cope with the challenges of these conditions which made traditional schooling quite tough.

I studied motorsport engineering then went on to secure a degree, working at TeamKarting indoor racetrack in Rochdale throughout. I then raised investment to buy out the TeamKarting business in 2017 when I was 19. In 2019, I took the next step and launched an in-house kart race team that offers a full progression route from indoor karting to outdoor racing. Soon after, I set up the Cadet Kart Championship after being quite frustrated with the championships on offer.

Keeping … Read the rest

British brand Zumo joins world-wide pledge to de-carbonise the crypto industry

Another giant move for crypto currencies as Scottish crypto currency wallet Zumo announced as signatory to the global crypto climate accord.

In cooperation with fintech and crypto industry leaders, Energy Web Foundation, the Alliance for Innovative Regulation and RMI created the Crypto Climate Accord. The Accord, inspired by the Paris Climate Agreement, is a private sector-led initiative for the entire crypto community focused on decarbonising the cryptocurrency industry.

Crypto Climate Accord Signatories are crypto market participants that make a public commitment to achieve net-zero emissions from electricity consumption associated with all of their respective crypto-related operations by 2030 and to report progress toward this net-zero emissions target using best industry practices. All Signatories also serve in the role of being a Supporter.

Zumo, a decentralised finance platform that makes regular money and cryptocurrency work seamlessly together, announced its key Signatory status of the Crypto Climate Accord (CCA), a global initiative Read the rest

Google fined €220m by French regulator over ad market abuses

Google has been fined €220 million by the French competition watchdog for abusing a dominant position in the online advertising market.

In a landmark case, the technology company also agreed to change its practices in the search for a level playing field in online advertising, the regulator said.

The settlement is binding only in France, but the changes could be implemented elsewhere as Google seeks to head off complaints over its dominant market position in other countries.

“We are committed to working proactively with regulators everywhere to make improvements to our products,” Maria Gomri, the legal director of Google France, said.

“That’s why, as part of an overall resolution of the [French] investigation, we have agreed on a set of commitments to make it easier for publishers to make use of data and use our tools with other ad technologies. We will be testing and developing these changes over the … Read the rest