Last week we held a roundtable event at the House of Commons to discuss how corporate businesses can integrate social enterprises into their supply chains. Hosted by Hazel Blears Labour MP, Vice Chair of the APPG on Social Enterprise, the idea was to bring together a group of people that care about what we are trying to achieve through the Social Business Partnership venture.
For me, the discussion highlighted a key strength in Shaftesbury’s approach, seeking to consult widely about our ventures with people from across sectors. Shaftesbury is able to follow through on this and use its cross-sectoral networks to bring together the right people for the conversation. The event also marked the end of my six-month On Purpose placement at Shaftesbury rather fittingly, since my placement started with the launch of our “Life Transitions” report at the House of Lords in July.
At the House of Commons our guests included numerous corporate representatives from across different industry sectors, as well as the founders of two successful social enterprises, and the discussions left us with both pertinent questions and thought-provoking insights. Here are just a few of the challenges and opportunities that we identified.
These ideas will certainly help us to grow and develop SBP. Personally though, the event illustrated how I want the social enterprise movement to look in future: open to collaboration, eager to learn and looking to infect and envelop ‘business as usual’.