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Social Value, from nice-to-have to must-do

We invited Nick Temple, CEO of Social Investment Business to reflect on the increasing importance of building social value into mainstream businesses to thrive in the 21st century. Here’s what he said:

At Social Investment Business, we have been investing in social enterprises for more than 15 years, and we’ve supported over 1500 organisations with over £400m worth of finance in that time to try and make a bigger difference. At times, that work has felt on the fringes, or excluded from mainstream business conversations – either because it was viewed as ‘soft and fluffy’ and ‘not proper business’, or because it was viewed as too risky a proposition for anyone commercial. But times have changed: social value is being embedded across sectors, impact investment is spreading like wildfire, and the next generations of employees are actively looking for purpose beyond profit in the companies they join.

If you want evidence of this, it is all around. The UK government recently announced a strengthening of the social value requirements for outsourcers and organisations delivering local and central government contracts. $114billion assets are now under management in global impact investment funds, and those now operating in the space include BlackRock, JP Morgan and UBS amongst many others. The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2018 says the “message is clear: Young workers are eager for business leaders to be proactive about making a positive impact in society” but that their current experience is “of employers prioritising the bottom line above workers, society and the environment” which impacts their loyalty to the firm.

For companies of any type to be “proactive about making a positive impact in society” increasingly requires them to think about how this relates to their organisation as a whole: their supply chain, their investments, their people and the way they operate. Connection Crew have long been pioneers in understanding this, right back to when they introduced their CSR Account back in 2012. They understood then that there is a mutually reinforcing win-win for them and their customers and partners when the understanding of the social value being created by their business is shared and articulated clearly. In short, it helps their clients demonstrate the difference they are making, it helps Connection Crew win business (and help more people), and it helps their clients win business too.

For organisations like mine that are driven by wanting to create as big a difference as possible through our investments, this kind of information is extremely valuable – we look for enterprises that have a business model that can sustain and scale, and that are also changing people’s lives in a tangible way. The Connection Crew CSR Account brings those two aspects together, unifying the customer side of winning business with the measurement and communication of the difference that business is making. This is why it has proved so compelling and continues to provide a model that others should follow, regardless of their industry and sector.

Find out more about the Connection Crew CSR Account here. If you’d like to discuss further please contact Margarita Ktoris, Marketing Manager, Connection Crew: margarita@connectioncrew.co.uk | 0844 822 1515

By | 2018-08-29T14:44:35+00:00 August 29th, 2018|Advice, News, Opinion|