Business in the Community (BitC) has launched a programme that will give social enterprises free access to bespoke support, from practical advice to marketing and branding support.
BitC is HRH the Prince of Wales’s charity, and set up its social enterprise programme, arc, to create a lasting legacy from London 2012 in the Olympic host boroughs. The programme later expanded to West London and Yorkshire.
In its 2015 arc Impact Report into the social enterprise support programme, BitC highlighted that targeted business support can have a significant impact on social enterprise growth and job creation. The report showed that 2,917 new jobs had been created through the programme, 73% of which were full-time positions lasting at least six months, and 67% of which were for disadvantaged individuals. These jobs represent an estimated saving of more than £11.2m to the state, said the report, and their contribution amounts to £89.8m Gross Value Added.
And 83% of social enterprises involved in the programme reported turnover growth in the last year, compared to the UK average social enterprise growth of 52%.
“The impact of our social enterprise programme in London provides a glimpse of the power of collaboration between big business and social enterprises, to create lasting change and vital employment in areas of need.” said Jane Pritchard, enterprise and culture director at BitC. “These relationships are a win-win as social enterprises, business and society all benefit from working together. We are now recruiting social enterprises for the programme and encourage those social enterprises interested to apply.”
In particular, the programme is looking for social enterprises – including co-operatives – to apply for support to grow, scale and create new jobs in London and Yorkshire. To be eligible to join, social enterprises need to demonstrate that they are financially sustainable, and have a social or environmental purpose written into their constitutional documents.
In addition to tailored support and advice, enterprises will also have access to subsidised training and impact consultancy, discounted premises and supply chain introductions.
Previous social enterprises who have been supported by the programme include Two Fingers Brewing Co, which gives all of its profits to Prostate Cancer UK, and K10, the apprenticeship training agency, which has placed over 500 apprentices into work.
- The deadline is 16 March 2016. More information can be found at www.bitcarc.org.uk.