People and the Planet at the Centre of Modern Businesses

With pandemic-induced devastation worldwide, social enterprise is a way for companies to help their communities while simultaneously generating revenue. The concept is not new, but the recent pandemic has propelled this movement into the spotlight.

For many companies, such as 101 Data Solutions, there’s no clear line between income and purpose. Increasingly, companies are finding they can make money and do good at the same time. Brett Edgecombe, Director at 101 Data Solutions, said:-

“Businesses need a renewed focus on social value, with localisation at its core. Those companies who are active, authentic and meaningful partners with their local community will build long-term trust and relevance with their employees and customers.”

The signs are encouraging, with a growing momentum around the Better Business Act – where more than 450 companies are calling on the Government to change the Companies Act.

Social value business in practice

The social value model considers all aspects of an organisation, including its environmental impact, labour practices, and even its contributions to society. 101 Data Solutions employ people outside the technology sector as well as within. As a result, the company provides upskilling opportunities for people, whatever their base skills are, through constant mentoring and ongoing, internationally recognised training and accreditations.

101 Data Solutions create jobs in the local community by sourcing staff from Bristol’s population, thereby returning investment into community projects and contributing to reducing carbon emissions because staff either walk into work or use local transport. Brett Edgecombe said:

“We strongly believe that providing life skills and ongoing education to all of our staff creates opportunities for them that wouldn’t otherwise exist. We also support a hybrid working environment where members of staff can choose to work from home two days a week and in the office three days a week.”

Through these measures, 101 Data Solutions is helping to tackle economic inequality, climate change, and providing equal opportunities.

How to assess your social value

When assessing social value, look at the following:-

  • Environmental impact – is your business using environmentally friendly practices for production, supply chain, and packaging?
  • Labour practices – are your employees treated fairly and offered good wages?
  • Societal impact – does your business contribute positively to society?

Each of these factors impacts whether your business ranks highly in the social value model.

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