Promoting Social Enterprise Innovation in Public Services

During 2016, much of our work focussed on our E3M initiative. We ran a series of round tables and seminars with the E3M Social Enterprise Leaders, to share knowledge about key aspects that are crucial to the success of social enterprises that trade in public service markets. This included looking at: winning new business, how digital tools and technology can be used to support growth and impact, and innovation in public procurement. We ran a special E3M Alchemy event mixing social enterprise leaders, commissioners and social investors. We also supported the development of a new publication developed jointly by E3M member HCT group and our E3M partners BWB. “The Art of the Possible in Public Procurement” aims to support public service commissioners make full use of flexibilities that can support innovation within the public procurement rules.

Last year, Social Business International became a partner in the Public Service Transformation Academy, the social enterprise which now runs the Government’s Commissioning Academy. We are feeding in ideas and content from both the E3M Social Enterprise Leaders and the E3M Bold Commissioners Club to support the Academy, and we are helping to develop a programme of activities for the alumni of the Academy. The first of these is an alumni round table, followed by evening seminar on social investment, which is being delivered by our E3M partner Numbers for Good, in Manchester on the 2nd of February.

Over the coming year we are planning new work to promote social enterprise innovation in public service delivery, building on the work we have been doing with E3M.

The first of these will take place in London on 29th March, focussing on “Governance for Impact and Growth”, exploring how good governance can help social enterprises achieve their long term objectives. Building on our previous work in this area, the event is focussed at a mixed audience of CEOs, Chairs and non-exec directors, and will share experience and learning from the E3M Social Enterprise Leaders Business Club. This will be followed later in the year by seminars on Finance and Models for Growth, as well as a larger social enterprise innovation event.

We will also continue to develop the E3M Bold Commissioners Club, which brings together senior leaders from public authorities who are interested in pushing the boundaries of current commissioning practice. For the past year we have hosted a series of round tables exploring different aspects of commissioning practice, and our aim is to spread the thought leadership from this group and from the E3M Social Enterprise Leaders Business club much more widely.

We look forward to a positive 2017 working with our E3M members and partners.

Jonathan Bland

Managing Director

Social Business International