Supporting community funding, local economies and authorities.

In 2011, Legal & General spent £439m with external businesses in buying products and services to run our business. We continued to monitor the business mix of large companies versus SMEs in the supply chain.

A joint venture between Legal & General, CAF Venturesome and NESTA launched in March 2012 to develop a programme to support social enterprises in major cities around the UK. The first of these will be a pilot in Brighton and Hove.

The joint venture we have created provides a community fund for local social enterprises to be offered a combination of nil cost loans of up to £10k, and mentoring and consultancy to enable them to grow. The unique piece of this work is that local community representatives are involved in the decisions on what support is provided from local employees, SMEs themselves, local authorities, procurement professionals and investment experts.

Our 2012 plans are to expand this to include other non-banking companies keen to stimulate the local economy and to replicate this model in other UK cities.

Employee volunteering to support local economies

An increasing number of employees are looking to support the creation and growth of small businesses in their local communities. Initiatives include:

  • The SEAL Project – a programme run by the University of Brighton and Cats 3000 designed to provide free mentoring support for local start-up businesses through peer to peer learning.
  • The Enterprise for Change Project – designed for our employees to help people in prison learn entrepreneurial skills and prepare to start up small businesses.

Supporting regeneration in local authorities

Legal & General Property has been providing thought leadership to cash-strapped local authorities who see limited regeneration options.

A successful example was with Lewes District Council. An event with their senior team demonstrated the value of providing a series of regeneration options which the Council had not identified.

Their CEO Jenny Rowlands said of the day:

“Legal and General Property were extremely helpful in sharing their regeneration expertise and experience with Lewes District Council and this has helped the Council to kick-start its regeneration ambitions for the district.”

Looking forward, we see ourselves continuing to provide expertise to public sector organisations that are having to think differently about the way they grow and support communities.


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