By Daniel Hunter

As the most amazing year of sport draws to a close and the nation asks ‘what will the long term legacy be from the Games?’

Business in the Community today (Tuesday) announced the extension of its legacy programme arc — building better business - a programme to create a lasting social legacy stimulating the creation and growth of financially sustainable social enterprises — enabling them to provide employment opportunities for 2000 local people in deprived communities of London.

According to the Fightback Britain report, social enterprises are starting-up and working in Britain’s most deprived communities - with 39% of them based in the most deprived areas of the UK, compared with just 13% of mainstream SMEs.

The research also reveals the high growth potential and confidence of the sector, as they are twice as likely as mainstream businesses to have reported growth in the last year. Social enterprise will therefore play a unique role in stimulating growth and jobs in communities, while tackling the pressing social issues faced by communities nationwide. arc is being delivered in partnership with Social Enterprise UK.

In addition to the Olympic host boroughs arc will from today support social enterprises to create jobs in Ealing, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea & Harrow, Hammersmith & Fulham, Spelthorne and Brent.

The programme will combine the expertise and resources of founder partners Deloitte, BP and Visa Europe with Business in the Community’s 30 years experience campaigning on responsible business issues and challenging corporations to make a positive impact on their communities. It will support social enterprises that will both tackle some of the social economic issues facing the host boroughs and create much needed jobs.

The first two social enterprises to receive from arc West London are:

Bounce Back - charity and a social enterprise focussed on training and employment of ex-offenders in its painting and decorating company.

Bounce Back works to reduce re-offending, keep communities safer and save the government and taxpayer money, whilst building a highly professional and enthusiastic team of painter decorators.

Bounce Back has supported over 100 people into paid employment in the last year and continues to grow.

Action Acton - tackles poverty by helping individuals improve their lives through education, training and employment. Their core objective is to “promote economic and community regeneration in Acton, Ealing and adjoining West London boroughs”.

Action Acton works with over 2000 people each year helping young people in trouble, lone parents, older people, people with disabilities and mental health difficulties, ex-offenders, refugees and ethnic minorities. They help improve their soft skills such as self-confidence and motivation but also work on their English, Maths and basic IT skills. All of this combined, improves their ability to get an education, get on a training programme and employment which will improve their and their children’s' lives.

Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive, Social Enterprise UK — the lead strategic partner on the arc project said: “This is a really exciting project. arc is helping to raise awareness of social enterprise across the capital. It’ll be terrific to see social enterprises start-up and grow in some of London’s most deprived boroughs. Not only will jobs be provided at a time when youth unemployment is at an all time high, but whole communities will benefit because social enterprises are a force for good — they exist to tackle social issues and environmental problems.”

Jane Pritchard, Enterprise Director at Business in the Community said: “We’re excited to be extending the reach of arc today at a time when jobs and inspiration are much needed in our communities. Over the past year we have proved that the programme works supporting 35 social enterprise to create nearly 100 jobs — as we now scale up we are on target to create 2000 jobs and we are looking forward to increasing our impact as we plan for a national roll out later this year.”

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