What would happen if you applied an obsession with delivery and commercial success to creating social value? The answer for consultancy firm Barkers is delivering an astounding £1.9m in social value – and smashing an original target of £1m. The objective was threefold: contribute to the creation of a fairer society; make Barkers an employer of choice; and create a future-proof business model.
The firm’s partners moved from billing customers five days a week in fees to billing on average only three, freeing up time to support social enterprises and charities. They use the time for pro bono work such as commercial advisory services for charities, contribute to advisory boards and have started a social enterprise, Life-Scape (in partnership with an existing landscaping business) that gives jobs to ex-offenders. Since social value became a focus, they have invested 220 days of partner time and more than 200 people have been through Life-Scape.
Judges said: “A simple but very effective and powerful approach, and a great advancement for the reputation of the profession. What they have done for driving the cause of social value forward is truly remarkable and unique.”