What is the Social Value Exchange?
The Social Value Exchange is an online platform that matches suppliers with community projects during the procurement process to create community benefits. Because of the Social Value Act, contracting authorities - for example, councils and housing associations - can ask their suppliers to put something back into the local community to create community benefit. Our platform helps get time, money and resources to the most effective community projects that are tackling the biggest social and environmental problems in a local area.
Can you give an example of where you’ve used the Social Value Exchange?
In 2016 we worked with Genesis Housing Association to help them assess the Social Value of a £20m contract. We helped them get an extra £450,000 worth of resources for community. The projects that received resources from suppliers are delivering objectives around building skills for employment, creating community cohesion and helping people become financially secure.
You work with public, private and third sector organisations. How have you made a tool that works for everyone?
We’ve been researching and testing with our user groups - community organisations, suppliers and contracting authorities from the start. Co-design is a big part of our process. By talking to organisations, finding out what they need and testing our designs with them we can deliver a tool that is ‘usable’ - that it meets our users’ needs and creates an enjoyable user experience.
It’s fantastic to be working across different sectors to help them all tackle social problems in a co-ordinated and effective, data driven way - saving them time in the process.
What are the benefits for each group of organisations?
Contracting authorities can:
Community projects can:
Get free core resources, supporting the delivery of their projects
Have a free profile and page where they can share news of your latest activities and project
Access a network of other community projects where they can collaborate, learn and pool resources.
Save time finding community projects to engage with and they know that their resources will go to those community projects making the biggest difference in their local areas
Use Social Value as a genuine business development tool - they can ‘do well by doing good’
- Get the data from the Social Value Exchange to help demonstrate the social impact they have created by supporting community projects.