Support scheme aims to create 1,000 jobs in region
The support programme, which is run by the Prince’s charity Business in the Community, has already created around 3,000 jobs in London and the South East.
The programme’s launch in Yorkshire coincides with an event to celebrate the role social enterprises can play in stimulating economic growth, which is taking place today at Business in the Community’s annual AGM and Leadership Network in London.
Business in the Community set up its “social enterprise programme arc” to create a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic games in the Olympic host boroughs, and later expanded to West London.
A spokesman said: “With the creation of almost 3,000 jobs in London and the South East, the programme is now being launched in Yorkshire, alongside lead corporate partner Asda and Interserve (the support services and construction firm) as development partner, with a target of creating 1,000 jobs across the region.”
The programme gives social entrepreneurs free access to practical support, such as advice to help them improve their strategy, marketing and branding support. It also offers practical tips about winning contracts and new business. In addition, arc social enterprises have access to subsidised training and consultancy, discounted premises and supply chain introductions.
The project has been backed by some of the biggest names in business – BP, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Exterion Media, Deloitte, Visa Europe, InterContinental Hotels Group – who between them have contributed more than 758 days of advice to London social enterprises, through 232 of their business volunteers.
With the support of Interserve, the programme has been piloted this year in Yorkshire, supporting three social enterprises, including Legacy Sport CIC in Huddersfield, which delivers PE, sport and health programmes for school and community groups and Paperworks, a print production company in Leeds, which provides work preparation training and support to adults with learning, physical and mental health-related disabilities.
The Shine Nail Bar in Beeston, Leeds, is also included in the pilot. The enterprise provides training and volunteer opportunities to local women and girls in the beauty and customer service sectors. They are being supported with marketing advice from Interserve.
Kate Alty, the team leader of The Shine Project, said: “Business in the Community has matched us with expert volunteers to advise us on how to grow our trading activity. All our profits go back into working with the local community through the work of The Shine Project which provides mentoring, youth clubs and aspiration-raising work, so it’s crucial that we grow to continue making an impact.”
Jane Pritchard, enterprise and culture director, Business in the Community, said: “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.”
Richard Mason, Asda’s corporate sustainability manager, said the Leeds-based supermarket chain was excited to be lead partner for the arc programme’s launch in Yorkshire.
He added: “We have colleagues across Yorkshire, which means we have a wide range of experts ready to support these initiatives.”
Tim Haywood, Interserve’s group finance director and head of sustainability, added: “Interserve has a long-standing commitment to creating social value and making a significant contribution to the communities in which we operate. As a global business with a substantial local presence, we are supporting this corporate volunteering programme in Yorkshire.”