With a busy week of events at The Conservative Party Conference ahead of him, Patrick Shine joined a panel of politicians, academics and business people to discuss the Big Society and Long Term Unemployment on the IPPR fringe in Manchester last Sunday evening.
Patrick offered the event his reflections from Shaftesbury’s experience of setting up Franchising Works, a social business piloting in Manchester, which helps the unemployed into supported self-employment through franchising. He concluded that although top down, big government solutions do not work, well informed social entrepreneurs who can spot an opportunity for impact, do rely on government as a critical facilitator. Patrick also highlighted that access to capital has been an endemic problem, which Franchising Works is raising social investment to overcome. He argued that the structural effectiveness of Big Society Capital is essential to ensuring social ventures have access to capital and can tackle the real issue of long term unemployment.
Though there were many different voices at the event, there was an emerging consensus on this point.