Leaders explore social impact and purpose in family businesses

By The Family Business Network

10 Jun 2021

Leaders from two pioneering business organisations have come together to launch their first collaborative online family business event on 17 June. 

Sue Howorth and Dave Clarkson, co-directors of The Family Business Network along with Philip Webb, CEO of Investors in Community will present ‘Exploring the social impact of purpose-driven family businesses’ aimed at leaders of family businesses.

The event will provide an opportunity for family businesses to gain an understanding of what corporate social responsibility (CSR) means, how it can affect your business and why expectations for businesses are changing.

A line-up of speakers at the event will include Tom McGinness - Global Leader of Family Business at KPMG Private Enterprise UK, Phil Wild – CEO of James Cropper PLC, Ivan Baldwin - Marketing and Business Development at Bechtel Corporation and Rayner Davies, award-winning family business entrepreneur and Co-Founder of A&R Cleaning and Security Services.  The speakers will bring both powerful insight and personal experience to look at how family businesses can approach CSR, how to embed it within the purpose and values of a company, and how it can be effectively coordinated and communicated in order to benefit a business.   

CEO of Investors in Community, Phil Webb said, “Many family businesses naturally incline towards supporting the local communities in which they operate. However, being able to effectively manage, track and verify this activity is no longer simply a ‘nice to do’ but a ‘must do’ exercise. We look forward to exploring the various means to achieve this during our event.” 

Co-founder of A&R Cleaning and Security Services, Rayner Davies commented, “As a family business owner, I was never really aware of what Corporate Social Responsibility was, yet even so we had a clear purpose; we were created and built on a foundation of giving back and supporting our workforce right from the very start.

“We have continuously sought ways for the business to provide a more sustainable, economical service for our customers and for the community.  When you have a business that is built upon people, communities and each of your employees work from the company’s core values and purpose, that’s where the magic really starts to happen within your business”.

Phil Wild, CEO of specialist paper innovators, James Cropper PLC commented, “When your company has employed members of the same family for six generations, you know you have something very special.

“Being a family business, the largest private employer in the region, with hundreds of years of heritage and in a rural location brings huge responsibilities beyond any financial performance.

“We should never underestimate the impact of how we conduct ourselves in areas such as employment, local economies, the environment & education. The company’s impact spans far and wide”.

Speaking about the changing CSR demands placed upon family businesses, Sue Howorth of The Family Business Network said, “Family businesses contact us every week with questions regarding their social impact and how they can measure and communicate this effectively. Often, they are required to provide detail as part of a competitive supply chain tendering process, or sometimes in relation to positioning themselves as an attractive proposition to the recruitment market, from entry level to leadership roles. We also know that consumers and society in general are calling for businesses to demonstrate CSR”.

Sue adds, “As a community for learning and a voice for family businesses, we identified the need to share these changing expectations and knowledge and offer the right resources and platforms for our family businesses to call on. Our event on 17 June will provide the ideal starting point for family businesses who want to know more and the Investors in Community platform gives them the perfect tool to manage and demonstrate their CSR activities”.  

The event will also feature a next generation discussion group, providing a chance to hear the opinions and aspirations of the millennial workforce and how this may influence businesses.

Dave Clarkson comments, “By 2025, millennials will make up around three quarters of the workforce and it is this generation that studies show have the strongest belief in corporate responsibility, with climate change and environmental concerns being their top priorities.”

“The bottom line is that being a socially responsible family business will help keep you on the right track to sustainable long-term success”.

Whilst the 17 June will see the launch of the first of The Family Business Network and Investors in Community collaborations, the businesses intend to grow the affiliation.

Dave Clarkson commented, “Our two organisations have worked in similar ways for some time, which has led us to explore the possibilities of working more closely. We see a natural alignment in our principles, ambitions and audience demographic. 

“The family business sector is known for being purpose-driven and that’s where the IIC platform comes into its own. Uniquely, the IIC platform recognises five different ways of giving, through which an induvial or business can earn community credits allowing a business to verify its giving. In addition, the service is completely free, with no deductions from your donations, monthly charges or transaction fees.”

To find out more or to book a place on the upcoming ‘Exploring the social impact of purpose-driven family businesses’ event, visit https://fambiznet.co.uk/socialimpactevent/ 

Tickets cost £20+vat with £10 from every ticket sold being donated to charity. The direct booking link can be found via https://www.trybooking.co.uk/18540

To find out more about The Family Business Network, visit www.fambiznet.co.uk

To find out more about Investors in Community, visit www.investorsincommunity.org

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