Finding successful solutions
Deloitte US leaders sought to recognize and support an innovative education organization that was achieving outcomes in the primary and secondary space, but may be facing challenges in scaling its programs. To identify the organization, Deloitte US launched the RightStep™ Innovation Prize in November 2014. Offering US$100,000 in cash, US$100,000 in pro bono services, and access to Deloitte US’s ecosystem of professionals volunteering support to the winner, the call for entrants attracted 116 nonprofit and for-profit organizations with a social mission in education.
The competition featured three rounds of intensive screenings and involved more than 100 Deloitte US professionals. In April 2015, five finalists presented to a group of judges, composed of senior Deloitte US leadership. Texas-based Reasoning Mind—focused on elevating student achievement on standardized math tests, improving attitudes toward mathematics, and increasing classroom concentration rates—was selected as the winner.
“With the launch of the RightStep™ Innovation Prize, Deloitte US is helping to deepen national relationships, increase the engagement of Deloitte US professionals, and invest in innovative, technology-based solutions that provide opportunities to transform education and the way that it’s delivered,” says Bill Copeland, Deloitte US Life Sciences & Health Care leader and corporate citizenship education champion. "The work we help scale will contribute to preparing today's students to be tomorrow's leaders, and will help address the chronic gap between low-income students and their peers.”
Focusing on employability
The Social Innovation Pioneers program at Deloitte UK is focusing its scaling capabilities this year on employability and job creation. The Pioneers program has a compelling track record of supporting socially innovative businesses, helping them grow to scale and become investment-ready. During the first three years of the program, more than 2,000 Deloitte UK people provided more than 15,000 hours of professional support.
Social Enterprise UK, an organization focused on helping social businesses grow, determined through an independent evaluation that the 58 businesses supported by the program have created more than 200 new jobs to date and realized annual revenue increases of 38 percent. More than a third of the organizations are suppliers or cooperative business partners with Deloitte UK. This has increased the diversity of its supply chain, widened access to talent recruitment, and helped it create innovative, client-facing solutions.
“To increase social impact and become more targeted with outcomes for the program, Deloitte UK elected this year to emphasize one priority social issue,” explains Claire Burton, head of Corporate Responsibility for Deloitte UK. “This year we’re concentrating on building employment skills and opportunities and are delighted to have selected 11 Pioneers with whom we aim to work collaboratively over the next 12 months.”
The chosen theme was identified using the Social Progress Index. The Index is produced each year by Social Progress Imperative (SPI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to measuring what matters most to people and society. The Index gauges the social and environmental well-being of 133 countries and helps drive the debate around how countries can measure progress beyond gross domestic product (GDP) to truly assess their national performance. Deloitte member firms around the globe are working closely with SPI to break new ground for measurement that is guiding policy decisions and social investment to drive sustainable growth.