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City slickers volunteer to boost social enterprises

7 June 2012
photo of the London Cityscape

A volunteering scheme that matches London’s City-based businesses with community organisations has announced a new plan to support growing social enterprises.

At a launch hosted by Lord Mayor of the City of London David Wootton at social enterprise Training for Life, based in Hoxton Square, the City of London Corporation announced plans to extend its City Action volunteering matchmaking service. 

The Lord Mayor said: ‘The social enterprise sector is growing and worth £24bn to the UK economy annually and there is significant growth potential for these enterprises if they can be strengthened through schemes like City Action. Our City of London Corporation scheme is also timely for social enterprises who can benefit from the social investment funder Big Society Capital.’

The new City Action scheme, which already matches 56 City firms with community groups per year providing 575+ volunteers, will focus especially on social businesses neighbouring the Square Mile. It aims to help them become more competitive and commercial.

In turn, City businesses, such as investment banks like Nomura International Ltd or law firms such as Withers LLP, can now have direct introductions to the vibrant, entrepreneurial area of social enterprise.

Marie Broad, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at SThree, an international specialist recruitment business who provides volunteers for the City Action scheme, said: ‘Our employees tell us that it’s really inspiring and motivating to share their business skills with those in our communities who need support.’

The City Action scheme is part of the City of London Corporation’s wider commitment to supporting businesses in and around the Square Mile, including backing the ‘50in250’ campaign, which asks businesses to commit to procuring services from social enterprises through a pledge from 50 companies to do business with at least five certified social enterprises within 250 days.