Press releases

Deloitte launches search for the country’s most innovative social businesses for Super Pioneers programme

16 March 2015

  • Deloitte has invested £2.5m in supporting social enterprise over the last three years through its Social Innovation Pioneers programme.
  • This year it is building on its success and launching the Super Pioneers, supporting social businesses with ambitious plans to increase employability and job opportunities in the UK, Middle East and Africa.
  • The new focus on employability provides a targeted response to working with the country’s leading social businesses who are tackling this important issue.

Deloitte, the business advisory firm, will today begin its search for a group of Super Pioneers as part of the next wave of its four year-long programme to support socially innovative businesses. Applications are open to the 58 previous Deloitte Social Innovation Pioneers as well as other leading social businesses in the UK.

This year Deloitte is looking for 10-12 social businesses working in employability, either through creating jobs or improving employability skills. As with previous years, the businesses must have a strong business model, ambitious plans for growing their business and scaling their social impact and a specific challenge that would benefit from Deloitte’s support. Deloitte is offering a three stage programme of support: Scope, Deliver and Impact. It will invest more than £1 million worth of employees’ time and skills in the social innovative businesses that are selected.

David Barnes, managing partner for corporate responsibility at Deloitte, said: “We have prioritised areas where there is a high potential for social impact in employability and where we can leverage Deloitte’s existing expertise and networks to generate the greatest impact.”

The theme for this year's Super Pioneers was identified using the Social Progress Index (SPI), a measurement framework supported by Deloitte that focuses on social and environmental indicators. Employability emerged as one of the themes with the highest opportunity for social impact and the best alignment to Deloitte’s core skills.

Over the past three years Deloitte has invested £2.5m into the Deloitte Social Innovation Pioneers through 10,000 hours of pro bono and volunteering. An evaluation of last year’s Social Innovation Pioneers programme, conducted by Social Enterprise UK in September 2014, highlighted the benefits that enterprises have noticed from their relationship with Deloitte. 

The average growth in turnover among the Social Innovation Pioneers was 45% in the first year and 38% in the second year. Over the first two years of the programme 160 jobs have been created.

Andrew Purvis, CEO of one of last year’s Pioneers, K10, said: “Through the diligence of the relationship director we have been exposed to a range of highly relevant opportunities. A ‘money can’t buy’ level of exposure.” 

David Barnes said: “It’s inspiring to see the results of our work with such a diverse range of innovative social enterprises, and we continue to be delighted with the programme’s positive results.”

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


Notes to editors

*The Deloitte Super Pioneers programme is a new partner to the Deloitte Social Innovation Pioneers programme. Super Pioneers will focus on one priority social issue to help grow the programme’s impact through a more targeted approach. The Super Pioneers programme will support social businesses that improve employability skills and employment opportunities and have ambitious plans to grow their business and scale their social impact over the next 12-18 months. 

The Super Pioneers will have access to a broad range of services within Deloitte, allowing a tailored support package to be developed matched with the individual organisation’s needs. The key elements of this support are as follows:

  • SCOPE - the programme will kick off with a business strategy review to identify Pioneers’ social business objectives and aims for the programme.
  • DELIVER – Pioneers will be assigned a Deloitte relationship team and receive pro bono support, using skills from across the firm, to tackle their key challenges. Specialist advisors will also be available for support on specific areas.
  • IMPACT - Deloitte will work with the Super Pioneers to maximise their impact by assisting them with contracts, investment, partnerships, supply chain opportunities and exploring joint ventures.  

The assessment criteria for enterprises looking to join Deloitte’s Super Pioneers programme is as follows:

  • Ambitious targets to improve the employment opportunities for disadvantaged groups within society
  • A particular business challenge that will enable them to achieve these targets
  • Plans to scale up over the next 12-18 months
  • The potential for a long-term partnership with Deloitte
  • A robust business model and to be financially self-sustainable without a reliance on grants and donations
  • An impact in Deloitte’s key areas of Responsible Business: Women in Leadership, Social Mobility and Ex-Military
  • Minimum of two years of financial accounts.
  • Operations in the UK, and a social impact in the UK, Middle East or Africa.

More information about the programme can be found on the website

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.

Kaylin Duckitt
Deloitte LLP
+44 20 7007 2040

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