A local start-up aiming to prove that small businesses can thrive in the world of big tech has plans to disrupt the B2C (business to customer) loyalty market and use tech as a force for local good.
Kennington-based Local E will be launching a new app in Brixton in the near future.
Two of its apps will be involved in a campaign to #savethehighstreet.
Local ePay is a payment app which encourages the local economy.
It uses peer-to-peer mobile payments, a form of transaction projected to become much more widely used and to increase to the value of $4.6 trillion a year by 2025.
Online commissions are often unaffordable for independent shops, Local E says, so, via its lower fees, Local ePay can support a small business while also benefiting customers with reward points.
Local E also aims to cultivate an independent and thriving high street culture.
“After two years of success with Local E: Food Delivery, we will be launching our second app Local ePay in Lavender Hill/Clapham Old Town in the middle of next month and then expanding to the rest of Clapham, Battersea and then Brixton,” the company said.
“We endeavour to encourage and incentivise people to shop locally at high street independent businesses.”
Local E was awarded £70,000 in funding from the government agency Innovate UK to develop the two apps.
Innovate UK funding comes in the form of a “smart fund” grant offering the opportunity for UK registered organisations to apply for a share of up to £25 million.
Chun Yip, director and founder of Local E Rewards, the parent company of the apps, said: “It’s great to see Innovate UK recognising the difficulties many small business owners face and investing in dynamic solutions to help create a more sustainable and prosperous future for small business on the high street.
“Local E Rewards are really proud of our team’s work in this area and delighted our mission to support local through business community collaborations and technology adoption can be developed even further, ahead of the launch of Local ePay.”
Local MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy (Labour, Streatham) has backed the efforts of Local E to make tech work for small local businesses.