Original date 19/9/11
Today we have Chris from U-Do.com with us. Chris, can you tell us a little bit about your business and which areas you cover?
Yes sure, U-Do is a company that has been set up as a social enterprise. The principle behind u-do is to find a sustainable way to support local businesses and actual communities. The first area that U-do is trying to cover will be internet services and it is bringing basically all of the services together that people utilise on the internet, so it would be things like directory listings, social networking, shopping, trading, swapping and multiple more services. It does have a unique concept behind U-do that it does intend to support local communities and the principle behind that is the guys and me have actually been out and bought every single domain by county in the UK and they will be inter-connecting them throughout where people can share local services, local information with global and national information. So that when we cover the UK we are going to cover the UK first and then we have also actually gone out and bought services out in the US. We have found by research while working with multiple research agencies that they are not as popular because people are not inter-connecting, so like on Facebook I have a circle of friends out in the US, Germany, France and the UK and within a hyper local type of environment you can’t get out of that local environment. So U intends to bring hyper local communities into global communities. If that makes sense?
It sounds all very interesting and something of a new concept really. It is fantastic that you are doing that. Can I ask what made you decide to take this leap to set up social enterprise?
It was an idea of the MD Nicola Holbrook. Nicola used to work for a consultancy company which works in Customer Performance. One of the areas that this company covers is around customer analytics and Nicola was looking at the actual analytics in the market and how that works and how basically we could utilize UCM which is the principle behind it to help communities and fund communities. Nicola got involved with doing that work and basically that is where U started and it just grew from there basically into its own enterprise.
Which resources did you find useful?
To be honest with you with have found the social enterprise route quite hard. There wasn’t that much information. When we started U we never thought we were a social enterprise, whenever actually knew what it was. What we wanted to do is to bring services to the market that people cold benefit from, so the principle of just going onto the internet and bringing profit back into the local communities to where the money spent, the money goes back to and it was actually a conversation with O2 who actually made us realize that we are a social enterprise, other than that we didn’t know we were a social enterprise or came under a banner of a social enterprise.
Very interesting. So obviously I know that you have a website because it is all online. Can you please tell us please what your address is?
Thank you so much Chris for coming to talk to us today. It has been great.
Ok, thank you very much for your time.