This year 226 entrepreneurs took part in face-to-face or virtual group coaching, mentoring and masterclass sessions with our people. With the onset of COVID-19 we brought forward the release of a new mentoring app to 20 users which includes resources and tools to help entrepreneurs and our people engage with virtual mentoring - removing the need to be face-to-face and geographical boundaries. And it helped us to facilitate opportunities for them to upskill and build networks safely.
We support social entrepreneurs to help them tackle society’s most important problems.
In February the Social Entrepreneurs Club collaborated with our newly launched Design Thinking for Good Community. This network was created to apply and share Design Thinking techniques, with the help of our subject matter experts from around the firm. They help social entrepreneurs turn their ideas into sustainable and scalable ventures that improve lives.
So far we have supported at least 35 British social enterprises during COVID-19 through our virtual Masterclasses on prioritising, prototyping and UX design in times of crisis. We also provided personalised coaching and design thinking workshops to 10 British social enterprises to help them grow their businesses post-COVID-19. And working virtually has made it possible for us to reach out to a wider network of subject matter experts around the firm.
Supporting social enterprises is a key focus of our supply chain sustainability programme. As a founding member of the Social Enterprise UK’s Buy Social Corporate Challenge, we use our purchasing decisions, expertise and network to build their experience and confidence, to ultimately realise greater social and environmental impact. This year, despite lockdown, we have made payments of £1.1m to social enterprises in FY20 through various channels including for the supply of products and services for our offices as well as corporate and employee gifts for some of our events. Attendees at a number of our events were served many delights from social enterprises, including food, drinks and flowers. This has given these small innovative businesses an opportunity to have their products shared with our clients who may wish to bring them into their own supply chain.
We have also partnered with some of our key suppliers to identity and select suitable social enterprises for our supply chain. With our caterers, for example, we have run a number of successful ‘meet the buyer’ events aimed at food and beverage social enterprises. It’s also an opportunity for these businesses to gain access to our suppliers’ other clients. For those that we are unable to sign up as suppliers, we give them feedback on how they can refine their proposition.
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Corporate Affairs, PwC United Kingdom