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5 Ways Startups Can Give Back During COVID-19 Pandemic For those businesses which can tweak their services remaining within the government guidelines, this is the time to come out and serve the nation

By Lokendra Ranawat

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Even from the early stages of incubation, startups almost always have a penchant to mix creativity and innovation to breakout from traditional ways and provide an arsenal of clever tools and services to meet various demands. This results in a push of imaginative executions that utilize technology creatively and extensively.

It is this passion which puts startups—and their drive to innovate—in an interesting position. As the nation combats the COVID-19 pandemic, the subsequent lockdown has spelled trouble for businesses, rendering their operational and service capacity ineffective. Startups, too, are affected due to the pandemic. However, those who have a better control, or are somehow involved in services to aid against the pandemic, this is the time to come out and serve the nation.

Here are a few ways in which startups can help out in this battle against COVID-19.


A Lifestyle of Change

In recent times, many new health and fitness startups have emerged, which provide an array of services. These startups can utilize their own medium to channel everyone towards a healthy living through food guidance, exercise, meditation and yoga. These are imperative for everyone to maintain not just their physical well-being but mental health too.

Similarly, those fitness startups which build on community and social interaction can also curb the spread of rumours regarding safety standards and pandemic, thereby instilling a positive outlook in everyone. This can be easily practiced and broadcast through app notifications that guide people towards the right implementation of community safety and immunisation.


Application of Awareness

Many startups that utilize GPS, data crunching and map-based APIs can actively support day-to-day navigation along with pinpoint services and medical aids available around an individual. Retooling their existing services to include hot zones and infected areas, these startups—in collaboration with the government—can help people cut the noise.

Given the current situation, such ventures can choose to release their apps for free so that people can access their services. This will help in spreading awareness, allowing people to arm themselves with geographical knowledge of the spread within their city and how to navigate around it.


Extend a Hand

For various tech-based startups, this transition towards work-from-home might have been a smooth operation, but the same does not hold true for others, especially small to medium businesses which mostly rely on physical goods-and-services and store walk-ins. How can such startups sustain themselves amid the lockdown?
This is precisely where well-established startups, especially tech-based, can jump in to lend a hand.

Their services can help small businesses in online operations and even reliable communication. Furthermore, they can guide small teams and workforces in setting up a digital base and maintain a consistent workflow. Business leaders can even pitch in various hacks to improve productivity. Whether it is about helping with automation, data collection or management, such services can be provided over lucrative packages, discounts or even for free during the pandemic.


Broadcast your Message

Individuals too would be in need of motivation and support. Given that many had to shift their focus rather abruptly, a little nudge from experts can go a long way in learning, improving and adapting to these unusual circumstances.

Startups can reach their cause and help people out simultaneously through various social media platforms, such as YouTube and Instagram. Organizing webinars, tutorials, lectures and various other activities can inspire millions to overcome their difficulties. The digital medium provides a great number of channels, such as vlogs, podcasts, blogs, articles and what not. Take your pick.


The Medical Approach

Finally, let's talk about startups that are directly involved in this fight against COVID-19—pharmaceuticals—which have the means to be the biggest game-changers in the war against COVID-19.

The first step is aiding the government with supportive structures in the form of screening locales and isolation wards. The second, utilizing medical advancement and technology to manufacture and arm medical personnel—such as doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals—with testing kits, PPEs and other reliable medical equipment.

There are other ways through which startups can help out; the above are but a few ideas. Which path is suitable for whom is a question for individual introspection and analysis. What really matters is for us to stay strong, together and safe.

Lokendra Ranawat

Founder & CEO of Woodenstreet

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