Business Leaders' Project Workshop: Creating Social Value

The social value that local businesses provide is often as important as their economic contribution. It is this connection – between the social and the economic – that was the main topic on the agenda at a workshop convened by the pioneering Business Leaders’ Project (BLP).

The BLP partners represent business (Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership  [GBSLEP] Growth Hub), education (the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship CREME), civil society (Citizens UK Birmingham CUK:Bham) and the banking sector (NatWest Bank). These institutions have joined forces on a pioneering GBSLEP Growth Hub-funded project to support businesses and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the City.

Fifteen faith leaders, local business, community activists – united in their interest to develop purposeful community initiatives – gathered to glean insights into the creation and maintenance of successful community enterprises. Not surprisingly, the issue of money loomed large, and the master of ceremonies – Saidul Haque (CUK:Bham) – provided invaluable advice on income generation strategies. Mr Haque spoke of the importance of having a strong web presence, boundary-scanning potential funding sources, and the principles of effective grant writing.