Eight social enterprises have won a spot on a unique business support programme led by Wates Group and Impact Hub London, giving them an opportunity to expand nationally and secure larger contracts.
The seven-month Assisting Social Enterprises to Succeed (ASSETS) programme provides expert mentoring, workshops and peer sessions for a carefully selected group of social or environmental impact-driven suppliers to improve their readiness to scale up and successfully compete UK-wide. Wates employees will be volunteering their time to support the social enterprises as part of the project and Wates’ wider social value commitments.
The scheme, now in its third year, has already supported nine social enterprises, driving an average of 25% growth across the four businesses supported in 2022. Participants said it strengthened their commercial awareness and entrepreneurial talents, laying the groundwork for future business growth.
Now with the involvement of People’s Postcode Lottery and BSS – part of Travis Perkins Group – more businesses will benefit from the scheme.
From supporting young offenders into work to empowering communities to care for the spaces around them, the social enterprises awarded a spot on this year’s scheme are:
- The Skill Mill Limited – providing employment opportunities in construction, water and land management to young offenders.
- Rising Stars Property Solutions – creating employment and training opportunities for people from disadvantaged communities.
- Down to Earth – offering fully accessible and inclusive homes, hospitals and school infrastructure to diverse community groups using traditional and sustainable building methods.
- Ethstat Ethical Stationery – a sustainable and ethical procurement company that gives 100% of its profits towards ending homelessness and helping vulnerable people back to work.
- Evolve – a company transforming the lives and aspirations of children and young people through mentoring, now looking to strengthen its offer to construction companies and housing associations through employee wellbeing programmes.
- e50K Consultancy – supporting companies in defence, justice, construction and IT to become leaders in social value.
- Urban Growth Learning Gardens – empowering communities to create and care for natural urban spaces in London.
- Viewpoint Research Community Interest Company – helping companies make informed decisions to improve services through customer satisfaction surveys, especially within the housing sector.
Su Pickerill, Head of Social Value at Wates, said:
“It is a real privilege to be embarking on year three of ASSETS, supporting Social Enterprises (SEs) to scale and it’s great that this year we can grow the programme by bringing in BSS, part of the Travis Perkins Group, to partner with us and support more SEs. Furthermore, input from PPL will formalise research and learning to drive impact.
“We have identified a broad cohort of SEs that will receive mentoring and workshop input and I look forward to watching their interactions with the mentors and to seeing their knowledge, awareness and impact increase.”
Angelica Santodomingo, Senior Programmes Manager of Impact Hub London, said:
“We are delighted to launch the 2023 cohort of the Assisting Social Enterprises to Succeed (ASSETS) programme; it has a strong track record of supporting social enterprises in the construction industry supply chain, and we are excited to work with our partners to help more organisations achieve their goals and have a greater impact.”
Dave Castle, Managing Director of BSS, said:
“As a business at the heart of our communities, we take great pride in making positive local changes happen. Working closely with our customers and partners we believe that collaboration can be a real engine for change, so we are excited to be a partner in this programme and support social entrepreneurs in our industry as they look to innovate and positively impact the communities where we live and work.”
Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said:
“The launch of the ASSETS programme is a demonstration of our commitment to empowering social enterprises in the construction industry supply chain. We hope that the £78k awarded thanks to our players will enable participating businesses to scale their operations and secure larger contracts helping to foster a sustainable future for our construction industry.”
Assisting Social Enterprises to Succeed (ASSETS) is a business support programme for social enterprises in the construction industry supply chain. First launched by Impact Hub London and Wates in 2021, the scheme is expanding this year through a partnership with People’s Postcode Lottery and Travis Perkins BSS, who are providing additional funding and mentors. To learn more about the impact of previous ASSETS programmes, visit the programme website.