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Deloitte launches search for second wave of Social Innovation Pioneers

26 March 2013

  • High growth potential enterprises flourish with Deloitte backing
  • 62% average growth rate across 30 Pioneers
  • 139 new full-time jobs created within the 30 social businesses

Deloitte, the business advisory firm, is today launching a new search for its next wave of Social Innovation Pioneers.

Since the flagship programme began in May 2012, the Deloitte Social Innovation Pioneers programme has delivered 5,000 hours of support to 30 promising social businesses across the UK, playing its part in a 62% average growth rate for the participating businesses in the last year. After a rewarding year working with this increasingly important business sector, the firm is starting its search for a second group of 15-20 Pioneers.

Deloitte invests in excess of £1million annually to support high potential, socially innovative business operations across the UK and in a range of industries. Over 12 months, the selected Pioneer enterprises are provided with tailored advice and access to Deloitte’s business and client networks to ensure they are investment ready and to support their growth plans.

Support in the first year of the programme has included over 30 advisory projects, 16 communications ‘health checks’ and six skills development workshops. An independent evaluation of the programme indicated that 76% of Pioneers have increased staff numbers in the last year, with 139 new full-time jobs created. Deloitte employees, who volunteer to support the programme, are also exploring supply chain, procurement and joint venture opportunities with a number of the Pioneers and introducing these opportunities to the firm’s clients.

Many of the first year Pioneers will now transfer to an alumni programme, giving them continued access to Deloitte networks and support.

Heather Hancock, managing partner of talent and brand at Deloitte, said:  “We have learned a lot in the first year of this programme, working with some tremendous businesses and entrepreneurs. We are delighted that the Pioneers have been able to grow their businesses at such a fast rate during this year.

“We know the social enterprise sector has significant economic and community potential. The 2013 Budget identified that investment in the sector is important for the UK, with tax relief to be introduced in the Finance Bill in 2014. We are excited to be launching the second year of Deloitte Social Innovation Pioneers, a programme which utilises the full capabilities of our firm and networks to support the growth of the sector. Whilst Deloitte delivers the programme, as a pro bono activity, we also have a growing social enterprise client base. We are certain that this socially-responsible business model will be an increasingly important contributor to future business. ”

Case study:

Deloitte’s support of CLARITY has resulted in the enterprise taking on 16 new employees. CLARITY manufactures toiletries and employs a number of visually impaired and disabled people in factory and office based roles through the UK. Through the programme CLARITY are building up a network of specialised contacts able to support them in varying business challenges, as well as receiving bespoke pro-bono advice on their strategy and organisational structure. Deloitte is also working on a procurement arrangement for CLARITY products to be supplied in their offices across London.

Jeremy Robinson, Pioneer and CEO of Clarity, said: “Deloitte has been able to provide a comprehensive analysis of our market position, which would have internally taken us far more time and resource then available. The opportunities the firm is creating for us have been invaluable.”

For further information on Deloitte’s Social Innovation Pioneers please visit:


Notes to editors:
* Deloitte Social Innovation Pioneers are 30 socially innovative businesses from across the UK who are provided with a package of support to help them mainstream, support growth plans and become investment-ready. This programme forms part of our wider responsible business agenda and our continuing positioning around innovation and entrepreneurship. We want to develop our skills and expertise by partnering with leading social businesses and social business experts, and also give our people the opportunity to get involved in this growing sector.

Assessment criteria for Deloitte’s Social Innovation Pioneers are:

  • Clear measurable social impact
  • Businesses with an innovative idea/product/service
  • Minimum of two years of trading accounts with year on year growth
  • Clear business model with over 50% of revenue generated through delivery of services or sales
  • Clear and realistic articulation from the business about the type of support and assistance they require from Deloitte
  • Strong leadership that are willing to commit to the programme and are able to articulate how the organisation will support the programme and implement the advice and guidance provided

About Deloitte
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 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.

Media contacts

Zoe Cooper
Deloitte LLP
Job Title:
+44 (0) 20 7007 4216

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