Press releases

Deloitte Social Innovation Pioneers Programme continues to evolve and deliver success

8 October 2014

  • 38% average growth in revenue of second year Pioneers
  • 80% of the Pioneers have increased their headcount
  • 100% of the Pioneers would recommend participation in the programme to peers

An independent evaluation of the Deloitte Social Innovation Pioneers programme has demonstrated a second year of success. Over the 12 month period, the programme has supported 16 new and 30 alumni social enterprises from across the UK, offering more than 5,000 hours of professional services support.

The programme, which launched in 2012, aims to help the nascent social enterprise sector to grow. It forms part of Deloitte’s contribution to a sustainable society, and demonstrates the firm’s belief that business can play a critical role in supporting societal improvement.

The evaluation of the programme’s second year, commissioned by Deloitte and conducted by Social Enterprise UK, reveals that it has successfully built on the foundations laid in year one, improved in key areas of delivery and had a tangible impact on the growth of the social enterprises.

Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive at Social Enterprise UK said: “The Pioneers programme is the perfect example of responsible business in action – Pioneers gain access to the best business support around, and Deloitte learn from the best the social enterprise sector has to offer.”

David Barnes, managing partner for public policy at Deloitte, said: “The evaluation from Social Enterprise UK provides honest and encouraging insight into the evolution of the Social Innovation Pioneers programme. The success of the programme is dependent on a critical approach from our side, to ensure that we maintain the elements that work and make adaptions where required to continue to accomplish key objectives.

“I am pleased to see continued growth across both the current group of Pioneers and those that now make up the alumni. I am also very proud of the continued hard work delivered by the Deloitte relationship managers and teams that commit to the programme. The continued success of programmes such as this, as well as our work around social mobility, diversity, agility and charity support, reflects both a business imperative and our commitment to contribute to a fair and prosperous society.”

The report reveals the Pioneers benefited from an average growth in turnover of 38%, and that 80% benefited from increased employment. This equates to 20 full-time and 40 part-time roles, and the turnover growth compares well to the average 29% growth of UK SMEs in the same period. However, many of the Pioneers from the second year felt that the true impact of the programme is likely to be seen in the long-term structural and strategic benefits to their businesses rather than short term financial improvements.

While the enterprises benefit from the relationship, so too do the Deloitte staff. 60% of the staff involved in the second year are now using skills developed through the programme with their clients. It is successfully meeting a critical objective of ensuring that individuals involved derive personal and professional development from the programme and 100% of them agreed that they would recommend participation in it to a colleague.

Case study: Vi-Ability

Based in Wales, Vi-Ability develops thriving and financially stable football clubs at the heart of communities by providing opportunities for people to develop skills and broaden their horizon. They do this by offering training programmes for young disadvantaged individuals in football club management, and getting them to put their training into practice with their local clubs.

The Social Innovation Pioneers programme has had a dramatic impact on the business. In particular, it has made them even more ambitious for future growth – and given focus to the best ways to achieve this. A 12 month strategy document developed through the programme is at the heart of this, and has given Vi-Ability the credibility and confidence to seek social investment and fund their long term growth. The programme has also impacted upon the wider staff team, and helped get buy-in from the board, who are now more supportive about the direction the business is going in.

Kelly Davies, Managing Director at Vi-Ability, said: “We have continually expressed our thanks for being a part of the programme and will continue to do so. It really has been the best programme of support we have been involved in - and came at just the right time in our journey.

For more information on the Deloitte Social Innovation Pioneers programme, please visit:


Notes to editors

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

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