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Social Value: delivering maximum social impact

17 August, 2015

From The Information Daily.

Careful consideration and planning is an important first step for businesses wanting to ensure that social value activity delivers the maximum impact, writes Bob Taylor CEO of First Ark Group.

There will never be enough funding, help and support available, so businesses need to think smarter when it comes to social investment. The days of simply supporting grants and generating ‘any old’ social value isn’t enough on its own.

Organisations need to think innovatively and inclusively about social value and ensure it is linked with clear business priorities so the activity undertaken is planned, thought-out and working to make a real impact.

This doesn’t mean that generating social impact is hard – it can be quite simple. One way to deliver maximum social impact is through a long-term investment-led approach and by considering how capital is recycled.

Investing funds into projects that will eventually see these funds returned is a great way to ensure companies are able to re-invest the same money over again– delivering maximum social impact several times over from one pot of money.

The First Ark Group is just one contributor to the Big Issue Invest Corporate Social Venturing Challenge. For a second year running we have invested £50,000, alongside partners including Barclays, Experian, Places for People and Big Issue, to help early-stage social businesses to grow.

The money is presented to worthy social enterprises as a business loan, so it will soon be returned to the partners ready to begin the cycle again. Supporting social enterprises ensures the funding is part of an on-going cycle which works to deliver social impact on various levels and means the impact of this activity is far reaching.

Not all organisations have an investment-led approach for delivering social value. To ensure that it isn’t seen as an arena for only the large and hugely profitable businesses, it’s important to highlight how social impact can be delivered through other activity.

Read the full article here 

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