Project “arc” hopes to create 1,000 jobs in Olympic boroughs
A social enterprise project to create 1,000 new jobs in the Olympic host boroughs is launched today.
The arc scheme, a collaboration between Business in the Community and two of the official Olympic partners Deloitte and BP, will work in Greenwich, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney, Barking and Dagenham and Waltham Forest.
The project aims to create a lasting social legacy for the Olympic host boroughs by stimulating the creation and growth of financially sustainable social enterprises – enabling them to provide employment opportunities for 1,000 people.
Stephen Howard, chief executive of Business in the Community, said: “We’re excited to be launching arc today at a time when jobs and inspiration are much needed in our communities.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and the backbone of strong prosperous communities. It is crucially important that responsible businesses collaborate to stimulate and support enterprise growth, particularly in area of greatest need such as the Olympic host boroughs.”
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Deloitte and BP will contribute expertise and resources, and employees will offer practical support to the projects.
Peter Mather, head of country UK and vice president Europe region BP, said: “BP is delighted to be a founding partner of arc.
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“We believe in supporting the development of communities in which we operate and, as an official partner of London 2012, we are working hard to deliver a sustainable legacy from the Games.”
David Sproul, chief executive of Deloitte said: “As a leading business we believe it is our responsibility to ensure Deloitte contributes to a sustainable and prosperous society.
“I would say that most innovation that is good for society is also good for business.
“The pioneering spirit of entrepreneurs and innovators has a direct ability to help build a better society, enhancing the quality of human lives.
“Social enterprise epitomises that connection, and we should do all we can to help it succeed.”
It is hoped 200 social enterprises will be created over four years, 30 of these in the first year, with two already announced.
The first is Bikeworks, a social enterprise that offers a range of organisational and public cycle services while reducing landfill and creating employment and training opportunities for disadvantaged communities.
The second is Blue Sky Development & Regeneration, which provides paid work for people coming out of prison, to enable them to move successfully into long-term employment, reducing re-offending by 75 per cent.
In the five years since it was set up Blue Sky has employed nearly 300 ex-offenders.