‘Social value’ is an economic concept which considers the softer outcomes of an undertaking alongside more easily measurable factors such as financial returns. In Britain, with talk of a ‘broken society’ and August’s eruption of looting and street violence, we wondered how small businesses create social value in their communities. Here’s our top 3 approaches to creating social value that can work for many small and medium sized businesses in the UK.
Give As You Earn
Payroll giving is a tax efficient way to donate to your favourite charities. There a range of HMRC approved payroll giving agencies. One of the most established payroll giving agencies is the Charities Aid Foundation and they’ve published guides on how to set up a give as you earn scheme for your employees. By setting up a GAYE scheme at your company, you can help to facilitate your employees’ giving at a time when charities are in greatest need of support.
Opportunities for Young People
The recession has hit youth unemployment particularly hard with 1 in 5 young people reported as unemployed. Organisations of any size can benefit from the new ideas, fresh skills and enthusiasm of younger people. Consider creating opportunities for youth employment such as a work placement scheme. The National Council for Work Experience provides a guide to the types of work experience that your business could offer. By providing work experience opportunities, your business could temporarily expand its human resources with a lower financial cost while at the same time equipping younger people with valuable real-word skills and industry insight.
‘Think global, act local’ is something of a cliché, but its sentiment certainly has important implications for how small business create social value. Choosing to work with local providers wherever possible is a great way to contribute to the prosperity of your local community while securing the goods and services required by your business. Not only can your business benefit from building relationships with other local businesses and take advantage of the synergies that may exist between businesses, but, just as ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ by working with other local providers your business can contribute to sustainable local prosperity.
What has your business done to add social value? Comment below and let us know or subscribe to our feed!