Deloitte announces its first 30 Social Innovation Pioneers
£1m package of support to accelerate social enterprises success
27 March 2012
Deloitte, the business advisory firm, today announces the first social enterprises selected to join its Social Innovation Pioneers programme. The 30 businesses were selected for their innovation in tackling social and environmental challenges with new business approaches, and for their high growth potential.
The programme has been created to accelerate success in the burgeoning social enterprise sector. The sector already contributes an estimated £24bn to the UK economy, and has the potential for significant future growth.
Deloitte will provide around £1m of tailored support to the Pioneers, including bespoke guidance from senior advisers from the firm who specialise in each specific market area or growth challenge, as well as workshops on common issues such as investment readiness and leadership.
The Pioneers have been selected from across the UK and have revenues ranging from £14,000 to £26m. The organisations cover a variety of sectors including; healthcare, TMT, environment and green, consumer business, financial services, maintenance and services, skills and employment and manufacturing.
The Pioneers include Autism Works, a company that specialises in software design and data manipulation. It takes positive action to provide sustainable employment to people with an Autism Spectrum Condition and Asperger’s Syndrome as qualified Test Analysts. The positive traits of the condition can make for exceptional Test Analysts. Attention to detail, persistence, precision, methodical, curious, high intelligence and often a "different" way of looking at things are common positive traits for people on the spectrum
Peter MacDonald, managing director of Autism Works, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been selected as a Deloitte Social Innovation Pioneer. We believe Autism Works can make a major positive impact on business, technology, society and most importantly on people with an autism spectrum condition, their families and friends. In the UK only 15% of 500,000 people with autism are in employment. We aim to grow a world class, sustainable enterprise that harnesses the very best talent from the private sector with the aspirations and social values of the third sector. Deloitte’s guidance and support will be invaluable in helping us to ensure that we can reverse this appalling statistic.”
In the inaugural year for the programme, Deloitte were delighted to receive over 300 applications from across the UK. All of the applicants had to demonstrate a sustainable positive impact and high-growth potential.
81 of the social enterprises were then invited to a face to face interview with partners from Deloitte, and representatives from organisations including Social Enterprise UK, Big Issue Invest and Social Enterprise London.
Heather Hancock, managing partner for talent and brand at Deloitte, said: “The response to our programme was over-whelming. Innovative and high potential businesses in this exciting sector want and deserve recognition for their pioneering spirit, and to help them succeed with their growth ambitions. It’s a heartening contribution to the country’s growth agenda, and the innovations we witnessed in these businesses are a powerful driver for their future success in the UK market and beyond.
“We’ve found an exciting mix of Pioneers – from start-ups to more established businesses, from health-care spin-outs, to cooperatives, technology companies to consumer businesses. We’re realistic about the challenges and risks that lie ahead for us and for our Pioneers – there is no guarantee of long-term success in this challenging market.
“But we’re really excited about the opportunities this will bring for us to help them deliver sustainable social impact, as well as what we can learn. The response to the programme within Deloitte has been very positive - a huge number of employees from across our own business have volunteered to work with the Pioneers and are looking forward to helping them reach their full potential. And many of our clients have asked to get connected – they want to understand the sector, include these businesses in their supply chain, and find opportunities to work with them in the future. ”
Nigel Kershaw OBE, Chief Executive of Big Issue Invest and Group Chairman of The Big Issue Company, said: “I have been involved in judging many social enterprise competitions over the years and this one really stood out. It reflected both the rigour of the selection process and the growing array of exciting social enterprises emerging across all sectors and the UK.
“We’re looking forward to working with Deloitte and the other Programme Partners in helping the Pioneers scale up their financial returns and social impact.”
For more information on the Deloitte Social Innovation Pioneers programme, please visit: www.deloitte.co.uk/pioneers
Notes to editors:
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.
Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities.
Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.
The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.
Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.