Prince Charles calls on businesses to help disadvantaged communities
27 Feb 2012
HRH The Prince of Wales has joined the prime minister David Cameron and 650 business leaders to call on businesses to help transform UK communities. Speaking at Business in the Community's Summit in London, the group called for the expansion of a network of senior "business connectors" seconded into disadvantaged communities. Tracey Theo, Business Development Partner and Simon Shaw, Executuve Director Strategy represented Elmfield at the event.
Following a successful pilot, Business in the Community aims to create a nationwide network of over 550 'business connectors' over five years in 160 areas of need across England, working full time with community and voluntary groups.
This ambition is boosted by investment to the scheme from Lloyds Banking Group. Lloyds has committed £200,000 to fund the training and infrastructure of the programme. It will also commit to seconding up to 20 senior staff as Business Connectors over the next three years.
Fujitsu has also committed to join the Business Connectors scheme this year in addition to its on-going support since 2011 in providing the cloud-based BITCConnect software platform which enables the business connectors to collaborate and share best practice. In addition, pilot companies including Sainsbury's, Greggs, United Utilities, Accenture and Waitrose have committed to the expansion of the programme by extending or increasing existing secondments.
Prime minister David Cameron said: "Responsible business today, yes, means giving more, but also doing more and changing the way your company behaves. The Business Connectors embody this change, making a real difference in communities; helping shopkeepers devastated by the riots, setting up mentor schemes and giving a boost to local charities that are already doing fantastic work. And when their time as a Business Connector is over, they'll return to make a real difference for their business too.
"They're buzzing with new ideas, more experienced and more in touch with their customers. This is the essence of responsible business today. It's not about bolting on a bit of good work; it is doing good and doing well out of it."
Responsible business charity Business in the Community convened a summit of 600 representatives of the UK's most influential businesses and voluntary sector leaders to identify practical business-led solutions to the pressing social and economic issues facing UK communities and to urge business leaders to radically increase their support of local communities.