Neil Capstick.jpg
Entrepreneur ... Neil Capstick

Member Article

New business aims to help clients create 'social value'

A TYNESIDE entrepreneur has launched a new business aimed at helping clients understand and create ‘social value.’

Neil Capstick is the successful founder and owner at Executive Compass, a business consultancy that specialises in bid writing. The company employs 20 people across three offices, one in Glasgow, one in London, and its HQ in Hoults Yard, Newcastle.

It was while growing Executive Compass – it has worked on more than 5,000 submissions across a range of sectors across the UK, Europe, the US and Asia – that Neil identified an opportunity.

“In 2012, the Government introduced the Public Services (Social Value) Act which called for public sector commissioning to factor in economic, social and environmental well-being in connection with public service contracts. Basically it requires public bodies to consider how the services they commission and procure might improve the well-being of the area,” he explained.

“I think this has taken some time to filter through, but over the last couple of years the weighting of so many tenders has moved toward social value. It is becoming increasingly important in successful bids and tenders, often making up ten or even 20 per cent of a total score.

“However, in my experience many SMEs struggle with the concept of social value – there is no agreed definition and so people are really wrestling with it. They have neither the knowledge of experience, but the area has become so important when submitting bids.”

In response, Neil and academic, businessman and author Hugo Minney, have just launched a new business, The Social Value Practice.

“We’re here to support organisations of all shapes and sizes, but predominantly SMEs, who are often in the strongest position to create social value. We’ll help them understand and demonstrate this through training, workshops and direct consultancy support. We aim to take organisations through three stages of social value: awareness; commitment and consistency.”

At present Neil and Hugo are the only employees, but the new company can call on the resources and experience of the Executive Compass team of writers, all of whom have received training in social value.

“We’ve taken more space at Hoults Yard so we’re ready for expansion, but for the moment it’s just Hugo and I,” said Neil.

Hugo worked within the NHS for 16 years, finishing as a Chief Executive of a GP Federation; he is a fully accredited social value practitioner and has been a business consultant for 12 years. He’s also written widely on the subject of social value.

“Our approach is to work collaboratively with clients to embed social value within organisations, supply chains and wider stakeholder groups. This is incremental and is tailored to clients’ time frames and organisational needs - regardless of how well developed their social value processes or CSR policies are.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Hoults Yard .

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