I am thrilled to announce that we have secured additional funding into our business and that we are now striding into the next phase of our growth. This means good news for our existing members and the Social Value industry, that we are so passionate about.
It’s been quite a journey from our inception almost 10 years ago back in 2014. We have been steadily growing in the UK since then and we have come such a long way. I like to think we have played an important role in furthering the Social Value cause, raising its profile across the public and private sectors and our business has certainly mirrored this progress.
Much of the rise of Social Value is of course down to the Social Value Act that was implemented in 2013 (thank you to; Chris White, Hazel Blears and SE UK), but this is only part of the reason.
The fact is that the Act remains a pretty toothless piece of legislation with no real obligation or accountability as public sector buyers are asked to simply ‘consider’ social value in their buying decisions. It neither compels nor enforces action. Therefore, it is clear that the success of this legislation has all been down to the buyers and suppliers who have embraced the spirit of the Act and made it happen. You have all ensured Social Value was not resigned to a dusty shelf but that it has now become an important part of an organisation’s language.
Amazing really and we should all take a moment and give ourselves a pat on the back!
As a business, we have played our part to support its take-up, riding the wave as best we can, but I am absolutely clear that we would not be here without the support and commitment from our members. Thank you.
As a B Corp, (something we are extremely proud of) Social Value is central to our purpose and in fact sits as a social mission within our articles of association at Companies House. This new funding will help us to accelerate our mission to work with our partners to deliver £100bn Social Value by the end of 2026.
Our vision for the future
This new investment will help everyone deliver more Social Value – a win-win for people, places and the planet. Here’s a snapshot of what this means:
- Improved Social Value TOM System: the framework will be reset and simplified to offer our clients their own way of building bespoke TOM frameworks on a project-by-project basis.
- An enhanced platform: investment includes updating the calculator page and re-designing the whole look and feel of the workspace with improved support.
- Going Global: we have already begun work with clients in France and Italy and will expand into new territories around the globe (watch this space).
- Integrating more in Planning: understanding how buildings can deliver social value through its entire lifecycle remains a top priority that we will be exploring further with the UK Government Property Agency, who we have just started to work with.
- The Social Value Academy: this feature is going from strength to strength and we are expecting to have our 1,000th graduate passing through level 1 in the next few weeks. Further investment in new modules and a professional qualification will raise the bar and standards within the industry.
- Building a Best Practice Community: to facilitate learning from each other, we will support member collaboration and shared resources. The new funding will enable us to further bring this wonderful community together, to swap ideas and support each other.
This is a real high point in Social Value Portal’s journey so far. I must thank our investors, Mercia and Beringea who, despite these challenging times, have put their faith in us (and this industry) recognising the key role Social Value has to play in turning things around for the benefit of all.
I look forward to working with you all on taking Social Value to the next level.
PS If you want to know more about Social Value and its role in building a stronger, more resilient society, don’t miss the Social Value Conference on 13th & 14th June 2023.