Deloitte offers £1m worth of staff time and skills to social enterprises

Claire Bench, head of corporate responsibility at the professional services firm, says it will choose about 15 organisations to receive support from the programme

Claire Bench
Claire Bench

Social enterprises have been invited to apply for a share of £1m worth of employees’ time and skills from the professional services firm Deloitte.

The company’s Social Innovation Pioneers programme is designed to help social enterprises grow and become investment-ready.

Over the past two years, the programme has supported 46 socially innovative businesses from a variety of industries in the UK.

In order to be eligible, organisations must have a clear and measurable social impact and an innovative idea, product or service; they must also be able to explain clearly the type of support and assistance they need from Deloitte. 

They must also produce a minimum of two years of trading accounts with year-on-year growth, and a clear business model with more than 50 per cent of revenue generated through delivering services or sales.

Claire Bench, head of corporate responsibility at Deloitte, said the company would select about 15 organisations to receive support, depending on the quality of applications.

"We are looking for organisations at the tipping point: they have come through the early start-up phase hurdles," she said. "We find that organisations that are reliant on grants and donations find it hard to think about growth."

Deloitte is also interested in enterprises that it can partner with, said Bench.

Since the programme's launch in 2012, Deloitte employees have volunteered 5,000 hours of their time to help the small and medium-sized enterprises involved in the programme. The social businesses also get involved in workshops and networking events.

Teams from the firm work with the social businesses on a specific project that will have a direct and tangible impact on what they do.

The deadline for applications is 23 February.

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