A new Inclusive Economy Partnership has been launched by government in partnership with charity and business leaders, and will make a limited amount of funding available to tackle social challenges.
The first meeting of 14 chief executives who make up the advisory group took place yesterday and was chaired by the Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley. The lead government departments will be the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Cabinet Office.
Sir Stuart Etherington from NCVO, Peter Holbrook from Social Enterprise UK and Dawn Austwick from the Big Lottery Fund are among those on the advisory group. The full list is provided below.
The aim of the group is to address issues relating to financial inclusion and capability, mental health and transition to work. Over 80 people have joined working groups relating to those three areas to come up with solutions to tackle the issues.
Last October the social investment and finance team at the Office for Civil Society was rebranded as the inclusive economy unit.
Help to scale up existing work
The Inclusive Econompy Partnership website said solutions that address the challenges are eligible for support and funding to scale up their work to address the three main areas.
Between January and March 2018 businesses and civil society partners will work with successful applicants to expand their work and that those without enough resources will be granted up to £20,000.
The fund is being managed by Nesta and the deadline to apply is 12 noon on 4 October. More information is available here.
‘Hugely positive first meeting’
Bradley said: “It was a hugely positive first meeting to kick start the Partnership which will help us build a stronger and fairer society. This Partnership brings together key leaders from the business sector and civil society world and working together we can help make a real difference to people’s lives.”
Holbrook said: “We’re delighted that social enterprise has been recognised as a key driver in creating a more inclusive economy. They are businesses designed with the DNA to tackle inequality, create social good and have a vital contribution to play in addressing the challenges the Partnership is set up to look into. I’m looking forward to working with colleagues from across sectors to identify how collaboratively we can build a fairer economy.”
The advisory group will meet at least twice a year and will last for between three and five years. Its members are:
- Olly Benzecry, managing director of Accenture UK & Ireland
- Sacha Romanovitch, chief executive of Grant Thornton
- John Pettigrew, chief executive of National Grid
- Joe Garner, chief executive of Nationwide
- Mark Evans, chief executive of O2
- Robert Noel, chief executive of Landsec
- Jacqueline de Rojas, president, techUK
- Caroline Mason, chief executive, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
- Mark Norbury, chief executive, UNLtd.
- Peter Holbrook, chief executive, Social Enterprise UK
- Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive, NCVO
- Dawn Austwick, chief executive, Big Lottery Fund
- Cliff Prior, chief executive, Big Society Capital