Imagine taking the brainpower of top strategy consultants and using that to help your social enterprise thrive. That was the experience of five social enterprises in SBT’s network recently when they joined Bain & Company UK staff for a team social action event.
Those social enterprises span pressing social issues including elderly isolation, mental health, offender rehabilitation and youth homelessness. Each got to work with an expert consulting team for half a day to develop or refresh their strategy. The goal was to capture that simply and clearly on a single page.
Sarah Wren, CEO of Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS) which supports elderly and vulnerable people to live independently, said the session was excellent: “Our major issue is working out what not to do. At HILS we have a huge heart, so working out specifically where we have to put our energy is really crucial.”
Teams from The Reader, Step By Step, Twining Enterprise and User Voice were equally enthusiastic. Sophie Clarke, Associate Director of Learning at The Reader, which uses shared group reading to help people with mental health issues and other challenges, said: “It was outstanding. We were thinking about things that our management team have been struggling with for the past six months and keep coming back on the agenda.”
“Having that finite amount of time to have to make some decisions with the guidance of the Bain team has really helped us make a plan.”
For those Bain experts like Jacqui Rowlands, Director, EMEA Digital Practice, the event was also really positive: “I found so much personal value in this experience. The benefit is not only to the social entrepreneurs but for us too. It’s a great way to tap into your knowledge and skills, and it’s rewarding to know you’ve made an impact on someone’s business at the end of the day.”
Bain is a founding supporter of SBT and has given thousands of hours of professional support over six years to help our social enterprise portfolio grow. Those helped include London Early Years Foundation, The Challenge and Shakespeare Schools Festival.