New jobs, new businesses and new starts for East London
We have been involved with BITC’s arc programme since its inception in 2011. Inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the need to create a lasting legacy for some of London’s most deprived communities, arc was created to deliver in-depth business support to help social enterprises grow and create jobs. The programme has exceeded its original target of creating 1,000 jobs in East London by 2015, achieving 1,028 in East London and 2,917 jobs in total. Of these, 73 per cent were full-time positions lasting at least six months, with 67 per cent being jobs for disadvantaged individuals. This represents an estimated saving of more than £11.2m to the state through reduced unemployment claims, improved health outcomes and increased taxation. So far 117 social enterprises have been supported, with 83 per cent growing their income compared to 52 per cent of social enterprises across the UK.
As a partner of the programme, our volunteers act as business advisers, sharing their expertise or supporting with specific projects. As a member of the BITC enterprise leadership team we help to give strategic input to this aspect of their work. We have also provided pro bono legal support to arc, particularly during the early stages of the programme set up.
A great example of the support we give is demonstrated by the relationship between Alastair Chapman, a partner in our ACT group, and the social enterprise bMoney Wize. bMoney Wize is a company with a mission to increase the level of financial literacy and numeracy amongst school-age children in the Barking and Dagenham community. Alastair has been helping the company to develop its bMoney Wize board game, which teaches the simple principles of budgeting, savings, interest rates, return on investments and debt. Alistair has mentored the staff and provided advice on their business plan and approaching potential corporate supporters.
‘It has been fantastic getting to know Arinola and to see her tireless energy bear fruit as she has developed her educational board game from an idea into reality.’
Alastair says, ‘It has been fantastic getting to know Arinola and to see her tireless energy bear fruit as she has developed her educational board game from an idea into reality, and now to see her making her first sales. The small contribution I have been given the opportunity to make in helping her think about some of the strategic options available to her, and focus on the key next steps, was hugely rewarding.’
‘I found it such a privilege to work with someone of Alastair’s calibre. He has provided fantastic support to me.’
bMoney Wize founder
Arinola says, ‘Alastair has been brilliant as business adviser to me and bMoney Wize! His initial brief was to help me launch the bMoney Wize financial literacy board game, which has happened and so now I’m getting extra time with him it is a blessing! I found it such a privilege to work with someone of his calibre. Not only has he provided fantastic support to me, but I also took people in my network along who were considering law and he was very happy to give them his wisdom and expertise. He has helped me realise the importance of a strong, robust business plan, which is still a work in progress. Alastair has always been a very good listener, posing questions back at me for me to come to an answer. He allows me time to think and gives a few pointers along the way. He was very supportive in developing the manual for the game. He has been very kind and I cannot thank him enough for the time he has given to me. He has been instrumental in getting the board game to launch and beyond.’