Reinvesting into the future by Elaine Lilley, Chief Executive at the EBP What does The EBP have in common with The Big Issue, Divine Chocolate, Hill Holt Wood and Think2Speak? We’re all social enterprises which means that we operate in exactly the same way as commercial businesses but the money we make is reinvested back into our business or the local community to create positive social change. According to Social Enterprise UK, there are more than 70,000 social enterprises throughout the country, contributing £24 billion to the economy and employing almost a million people. The EBP works with young people aged 5-25 throughout the UK and everything we do is focused on developing the skills of the next generation. Social impact is in our DNA and our commercial success has allowed us to reinvest into the future, helping even more young people achieve great things. Funding from the Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) has helped us extend The EBP’s mentoring programmes in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire. One of our programmes, Lumen, was funded by a grant of £95,000 from the CEC and we invested over £23,000 into the project. The first phase, launched in July 2016, helped over 4,000 young people engage with brilliant business mentors from across the county. These projects are hugely important, as one teacher from the Lincolnshire Wolds Federation commented; “It has given me some alternative options for those young people who don’t know what they want to do or have set ideas because they don’t really know what is out there in the world of work”. We also secured £78,000 from the CEC and contributed 20% of the funding for Mission Mentor, an employer mentoring programme working with Looked After Children. It was thanks to our status as a social enterprise that our profits could be reinvested Our Mini Exec Club partnership with Streets Chartered Accountants and Langleys Solicitors LLP, supported by the Lincoln Exec Club, pairs young aspiring professionals from Lincolnshire schools with business mentors. Key to its success is the invaluable support we receive from dedicated senior business leaders. Mini Exec Club is a programme that we chose to run and is delivered at zero cost to the young people taking part. The results speak for themselves with 100% of participants saying being involved improved their confidence. It’s not just The EBP that gives back though, so do the thousands of young people we work with. Through our work as a regional partner for National Citizen Service (NCS), we saw 5,000 15-17 year olds graduate from our programme in Lincolnshire Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland last year, each spending 30 hours on a social action project. A relatively small amount of time per young person but across all of our participants, that’s an incredible 150,000 hours of volunteering – the equivalent of 17 years! Imagine the positive influence their work has had across communities throughout our region and then think of it on a national scale. The impact is huge! As a social enterprise, we do so much more than just reinvest our profits. We support the student economy by employing hundreds of NCS mentors, each helping to support a group of young people whilst gaining confidence and valuable experience for their future careers. Social action projects leave a lasting legacy, thanks to the help of a phenomenal number of social action hosts including charities, community groups and venues and parish councils. Being a social enterprise has also helped us play a pivotal role in establishing the charity ‘one me’, which provides funding for 16-25 year olds to access further education, employability skills or business start-ups. Since becoming a registered charity, ‘one me’ has already awarded more than £3,500 to young people who haven’t been able to find funding from anywhere else, helping them prepare for the workplace. We’re growing all the time and are looking for talented and ambitious people to join us on our journey in both paid and volunteer roles. We offer generous benefits, good career progression opportunities and the knowledge that our work makes a real difference to thousands of young people. Our volunteers receive training and ongoing support from our skilled young people’s team and NCS mentors receive a full training package. Find out more over on our website: www.the-ebp.co.uk.