Procurement and commercial specialist Barkers, a consultancy that works with businesses to drive profitability, efficiencies and developing people, is now taking its commercial practice into the third sector with a series of initiatives aimed at both regional and national level.
At the heart of Barkers’ ambition for 2018 is the establishment of a landscaping enterprise, employing excluded groups and providing services within the communities in which they live.
Working with North West business GSU Landscapes, the team is engaging with regional public bodies to mobilise the service for a Spring 2018 launch, with a view to delivering services by summer and targeting a £0.5m impact by the end of the year.
After announcing its vision to establish its own social enterprise, Barkers has also united with a number of regional charities and announced partnerships with ‘Social Enterprise UK’ (SEUK) and ‘Business in the Community’ (BiTC), part of the Prince of Wales’ Responsible Business Network.
Led by Partners Warren Ward and Warren Kozera, the Barkers team has engaged with a number of charity trustees and boards to help them become more commercially aware, supporting the removal of cost from their supply chains and helping them think more strategically and commercially in their day-to-day operations.
And as part of its social enterprise launch, the team has also been in discussion with a number of charities, housing associations and government bodies, to help drive forward its landscaping social enterprise, focussed on employing and giving opportunities to those Not in Employment education of Training (NEETs), including the homeless, ex-offenders and those in drug and substance rehabilitation.
Partner Warren Ward said: “With economic pressures impacting all aspects of society, business has a key role to play in the third sector and in promoting social enterprise. That’s why we’ve partnered with BiTC, SEUK and a series of regional charities to provide free advice, helping tackle a wide range of issues.
“We’re also setting up a landscaping social enterprise providing local authorities & businesses with socially responsible landscaping services, employing NEETs, homeless, ex-offenders and those in substance rehab from within the communities.
“We are fully committed to using our collective experience to create a fairer more sustainable society, providing our charities with expertise they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.”