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CSR: Top 5 socially responsible companies in the UK

With today marking the start of Responsible Business Week in the UK, many innovative companies are wanting to tackle the social and ethical issues that are facing society, ranging from health, finance and education. Here are five of the UK's most innovative startups that are taking on the task.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

CSR: Top 5 socially responsible companies in the UK

With today marking the start of Responsible Business Week in the UK, many innovative companies are wanting to tackle the social and ethical issues that are facing society, ranging from health, finance and education. Here are five of the UK's most innovative startups that are taking on the task.

SalaryFinance

In an age where companies are increasingly looking for innovative ways to improve the wellbeing of their staff and to improve productivity, one startup is wanting to improve the financial health of people across the UK.

Fintech startup SalaryFinance allows businesses in the UK to give their staff a pay rise of up to 5% by allowing them to pay off their personal debts directly from their paycheque. By saving each employee up to £800 a year, the reduced stress levels can increase productivity at work and improve people's wellbeing. The service is completely free to use, and any employee can be eligible regardless of their income level or credit history.

The company is pioneering the use of 'fintech for a social purpose', and recently partnered with NHS benefit provider My Trust Benefits to roll out the service to thousands of NHS staff in the England.

Sleepio

With one in three people in Britain suffering from poor sleep, and those sleepers being 2-3 times more likely to suffer from depression, Sleepio, a ground-breaking digital sleep improvement programme, is trying to solve these issues.

The company is also trying to tackle the impact of poor sleep in work productivity and performance with 8.5 work days lost every year due to a rough night in bed.

The company was created by world sleep expert Professor Colin Espie and co-founder Peter Hames and it works by using clinically proven Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques over a six-week online programme to help those with long-term sleep problems fall asleep without pills.

Sleepio also works with the National Health Service (NHS) and is on an approved list of online mental health service providers. Meanwhile, backers include Index Ventures, Forward Partners and Esther Dyson and it has raised $3.8 million in funding to date.

With the number of people with dementia in the UK rising each year, one company is looking to provide a one-stop-shop for dementia support.

Unforgettable.org offers an online marketplace for dementia advice and specialised products, backed up by an active online peer community. Founded by 34 year old James Ashwell after suffering the loss of his father and having to support his mother with dementia, the company aims to help those who's lives are affected by dementia, providing one centralised location to gather all the support they need.

The company was recently backed by VC firms Bridges Ventures and Impact Ventures.

The Latimer Group

It's no secret that the media industry is notoriously difficult to break into for young people, especially for those coming from low socio-economic backgrounds. Creative Advertising agency The Latimer Group aims to tackle UK youth unemployment by putting young people at the heart of their campaigns.

Founded by Matthew Hay and Jake Woodcraft, Latimer Group has involved over 30,000 young creatives in 24 countries in the co-creation of their media content, ranging from development through to production.

In collaboration with global companies and organisations including Procter & Gamble, BBC, MTV and Unicef,the company produces award-winning documentaries, factual entertainment, branded content and short form video.

Named as the UK’s most disruptive social enterprise by Everline Future 50, The Latimer Group has introduced a new successful approach of co-created thinking to a long-standing problem.

Third Space Learning

Education technology is a sector which is growing steadily, with governments and businesses increasingly supporting the concept that innovation can have great benefits to students, teachers and even parents. According to a report commissioned by London and Partners, the EdTech sector is poised to have a valuation of £129billion by 2020.

UK EdTech startup Third Space Learning aims to tackle the issue of attainment gaps in global education by providing online maths tuition to students all over the world. The company has currently delivered over 61,000 lessons to over 6,000 students in England and Wales alone.

Founder Tom Hooper is passionate about closing the gap in attainment between rich and poor children, wanting to give every child access to a quality education. The startup is currently backed by VC firm Nesta Impact Ventures.

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