What is it?
Extending business partnerships is a key project aimed at looking at the potential for collaborative working between business and the voluntary and community sector in a climate where working in partnership should be seen as crucial to any organisations development.
The business case for community investment is one that is continuing to gather momentum. Below are two useful information documents on extending partnerships towards business.
Develop a shared understanding and awareness of collaborative working between voluntary and community sector and business
To access the skills and expertise available within Shropshire’s private sector and introduce business language and business skills into Shropshire’s voluntary and community sector
To offer Shropshire’s private sector the skills and experience the VCS has to offer such as in delivering social value, engaging individuals considered ‘hard to reach’, understanding community needs and delivering public sector contracts
To develop opportunities for private sector and VCS service delivery partnerships and joint contracts and initiate pilot projects to highlight and evaluate how this may best work.
Our Achievements So Far
Extending partnerships has been able to work on a number of key action points to promote collaborative working through a range of projects. We have looked to meet with key private sector stakeholders that have included Chamber of Commerce, FSB, COG’s, Shropshire Business Board, The Academy and Business in the Community. With the help of Impact Consultancy, we have researched numerous initiatives that could be replicated on a county wide basis. These have included Lunch and Learn sessions that have promoted engaging business, corporate and social responsibility and using social media. A Dragons Den style event proved to hugely successful in its innovative attempt to establish long term links between private and voluntary and community sector organisations.
“The Dragon’s Den was a great experience for our small self-help group; the links we have made with the Dragons will put us on a steep but well supported learning curve into the world of business and finance. Thank you for putting on the event which has been a life line to small third sector groups like ours”
Sara Heat , Founder and Facilitator, Autonomy Self Help
Finally, our Step Into My Shoes programme has been instrumental in promoting cross sector understanding and raising the profile of voluntary and community organisations across Shropshire. Given the implications of the Social Value Act, we believe there is huge potential for continued cross sector learning.
We believe that collaborative working between private and voluntary and community sector needs to be continued in the future. As a result, Impact Consultancy have established ShropShare, which will act as a broker between companies looking to put something back into the local community, seeking professional development or employee volunteering opportunities and VCSO’s who have an organisational need. ShropShare will be delivered in partnership with the VCSA and SPC and was launched in October 2013, attracting interest from some of the counties biggest employers.
If you would like to find out more about ShropShare, please visit the website.