Colu: The App Empowering Local Communities

Have we lost our sense of community in London? Sometimes I wonder if we have. The city can seem like a big ol’ lonely place when you first move here, know few people and never visit the same shops, eateries and bars twice. Instead you grab your groceries at the nearest chain store and are served by a different person every time. Or ever more increasingly these days, not served by a person at all.

But what if we could bring back that sense of community, that having a chat with the baker when you pop in on a Saturday morning, that short catch up with your favourite bookstore owner who knows your reading list, that customer service when the grocers you always visit has your regular order ready for you? Bring it back but with the speed, agility and ease that we, the modern consumer, demand.

Well, perhaps now, with the invention of Colu app, a digital wallet that allows you to pay instantly from your phone in your local, independents, we can.

Colu has big plans. They are on a mission to change the way we create and use money. By giving people the ability to exchange digital cash directly with one another they are encouraging sustainable and equitable economic growth while supporting local businesses.

Using ‘local currencies’, they hope to encourage more people to shop local, eat local, buy local and live local, strengthening the local economy and keeping the control of money in everyone’s hands. By making a change at a local level Colu hope to spread the change to the top; driving global change in the economy and the meaning of money from the wallet up. You also get more for your money, when you shop local through Colu you are rewarded with discounts and local offers.

I’ve been using Colu for the last few months now and I think it has great potential. Aside from it being really wonderful to start building connections with the people behind the businesses you buy from, you do start to feel that sense of community again. To know where your produce is coming from and to really want to get behind and support the individuals creating it is such a welcome change. By buying local we are not only supporting our local economy but cutting down our carbon footprint as by and large the products we buy have been sourced from nearby in the UK as opposed to far flung destinations across the globe.

Colu are also actively involved in encouraging and supporting the local businesses that they bring on board to give back to the communities they are part of. They encourage them to increase their social involvement and volunteering, build strong relationships with other SME’s to drive resource sharing, as well as encouraging them to actively reduce their environmental impact. All through a suite of exception digital tools.

The digital economy presents so many opportunities for the UK if we can harness it’s potential in the right way. With smart city initiatives like Colu we can find new ways to innovate and thrive in the digital world whilst still maintaining that human touch. I truly believe that to create a sustainable life for ourselves we must find that sweet spot, that intersection between tech and people that allows us to continue moving forwards in a sustainable manner whilst still maintaining the strong people connections that matter so much to humanity.

So get going, plug into your local economy and start building your community. Check out the app to find your city’s local community and start discovering the best local stores, restaurants, bars and hidden gems you never knew about.