Government report into mission-led businesses across the UK

The government’s advisory panel on mission-led businesses published its report today. It’s well worth a read. PKB is a social enterprise: a mission-led business certified as a Benefits Corporation. We were pleased to be invited earlier in the year to present to the advisory panel, and it’s great to see the 10 recommendations they have put forward in their report.

PKB fully supports these recommendations and wanted to highlight the following. First it’s important to encourage investment in the sector, both by allowing institutional investors to channel their capital to social enterprises and from the government providing funds to these institutional investors. This will support more social enterprises having more chances to prove the social impacts they can make.

Second, at PKB we know first-hand the talent exchanges with mainstream businesses is useful, as support from advisory firms. Boehringer Ingelheim through Ashoka’s Making More Health program, and Allianz through their Volans corporate social responsibility program have already seconded their staff to PKB. And Deloitte chose PKB for their Social Innovation Pioneers accelerator program.

Third we would love the UK government to follow the lead of other European governments and formally recognise B Corp status. PKB was proud to be in the first cohort of UK companies to be certified as B Corp back in September 2015.

Here are the full 10 recommendations.

Leading the conversation and building the evidence base

  1. Government to lead a conversation on responsible business and identify how the public, private and social sectors can work together to address societal issues.

  2. Starting with business schools, educators to lead the way in analysing the impact on business of a purpose that serves society and embedding this into curricula.

  3. Government to encourage and incentivise the positive social impact of mission-led business by enabling blended finance investment models and social pension funds.

Building mutually beneficial partnerships

  1. UK corporates to create social and environmental impact investment funds targeting £1 billion of investment by 2021.

  2. Mainstream businesses and start-up mission-led businesses to set up talent exchange programmes.

  3. Advisory firms commit to better-serving mission-led businesses through increased training and extending their pro bono remit.

Tackling current and alternative governance models

  1. Government to promote the flexibility offered under English law for companies to behave with a social purpose and align shareholder and stakeholder interests.

  2. Government to encourage businesses to incorporate around a social purpose and commit to social impact by establishing clear entry points for entrepreneurs.

  3. Government to explore the introduction of “benefit company” status in English law.

Building transparency & accountability

  1. Every business to actively communicate its social mission and progress in the form of a “transparency report”.

Download the report here

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