Social Enterprises receive business boost from City volunteers

The service allows City-based businesses to share their skills with community organisations in the City and neighbouring boroughs through volunteering. In its new extended format, City Action corporate volunteers will be matched with the growing social enterprise community, providing them with unrivalled access to free, expert business consultancy and support.

Lord Mayor David Wootton said: “Social enterprise sector is growing and worth £24bn to the UK economy annually and there is significant growth potential for these enterprises if they can be strengthened through schemes like City Action. Our City of London Corporation scheme is also timely for social enterprises who can benefit from the social investment funder Big Society Capital”.

The new City Action scheme, which already matches 56 City firms with community groups per year providing 575+ volunteers, works with social enterprises as part of the City Corporation’s wider objective to support local communities, especially those neighbouring the Square Mile where many social enterprises are located. The City Corporation has extended the City Action scheme to help local social enterprises become more competitive and commercial.

The burgeoning social enterprises sector would not otherwise be able to afford professional advice of City firms so this move will provide a unique opportunity to propel social enterprises forward. In turn, City businesses, such as investment banks like Nomura International Ltd or law firms such as Withers LLP – who have previously worked with the City Action scheme – can now have direct introductions to the vibrant, entrepreneurial area of social enterprise.

City Action will support social enterprises which tackle social problems, improve communities, provide employment opportunities and tackle environmental issues. The profits made from these social enterprises are then reinvested to further their social aims.

Marie Broad, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at SThree, an international specialist recruitment business who provides volunteers for the City Action scheme said: “The new initiative from City Action will allow more of our employees to get involved in the developing social enterprise sector and see how their skills can help them grow. It will also allow our employees to develop themselves at the same time. Our employees tell us that it’s really inspiring and motivating to share their business skills with those in our communities who need support.”

The City Action scheme is part of the City of London Corporation’s wider commitment to supporting businesses in and around the Square Mile, including backing the “50in250” campaign which asks businesses to commit to procuring services from social enterprises through a pledge from 50 companies to do business with at least five certified social enterprises within 250 days.

For further information regarding the City Action scheme please refer to the website: www.cityaction.co.uk

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