SOCIAL RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Empirical research shows a clear relation between the vitality of our centres and the socio-economic development of the catchment areas we operate in and serve. We do not operate in isolation. Being able to measure and therefore manage this relation will make our centres stronger and more resilient, ultimately resulting in higher economic performance.
The SROI project aims to do exactly this. It designs a measurement methodology and translates it into management practices that enhance our economic performance by addressing the related needs of the catchment area. We embrace the concept of Shared Value: to fulfil our mission while advancing economic and social conditions in our communities. Businesses must become agents of change. We have the resources, the talents and the self-interest. SROI is a new way of looking at the bottom line. It’s time to apply it on a wider scale.
WHAT WE DID
In our aim to maximise local impact by contributing to 3E programmes, we have developed a methodology to determine the impact we have on society. We are able to successfully link this Social Return on Investment the success of our centres.
In order to determine how our centres are embedded in their surroundings, we defined:
The objective of the project “Puente Xirivella” was to support and help unemployed people. The aim of the event was to connect them and entrepreneurs in Gran Turia’s catchment area with employers, educational institutions, business schools, enterprises and any other party that could give the target group advice on seeking employment and starting new enterprises.
The event addressed three areas:
> Educational workshops related to employment
> Stands (employment)
> Entrepreneurship conferences and Contest
The event was well prepared by the four partners: Xirivella Town Hall, Corio, the Community of owners of Gran Turia (Corio and Carrefour) and Gran Turia Tenant’s Association. 36 stands were placed in the centre representing enterprises, schools, the shopping centre and stands that provided information and services related to employment and entrepreneurship. The event was a resounding success as more than 1,500 people attended.
HOW TO MEASURE THE IMPACT OF THIS EVENT
Identify social issues to target
Make the business case
> Contribute to decrease of unemployment in the catchment area, better embed our centre in local community, thereby resulting into a more successful centre
> Results measurement on three different time slots
Use insights to unlock new value
> Linking SROI to success of the centre
We measured an impact on unemployment of minus 9.3%: the employment of the people attended rose 7.4% where it decreased in the catchment area of the centre where the attendees reside. Vacancy slightly decreased in the centre, but the business case so far is found in significantly better partnerships with local stakeholders such as the municipality, the chamber of commerce and schools. Visitors to the fair reported to be satisfied, especially since the fair was not a one-off, but many smaller events such as workshops, speeches etc were organised for the attendees and others afterwards. The focus is on skills development, of which we measured an impact of plus 6.7%, as attendees showed to be more confident in their skills and more self-aware. Visitors and inhabitants of the catchment area feel recognised by the centre management, which contributes significantly to the reputation of the centre and how it is embedded in the local community.
In 2013, the SROI methodology will gradually be integrated into local management practices, dashboards and reporting lines. Adjacent to this process, execution of the SROI approach is facilitated by the further roll out of the pilots considered successful in this respect. For example; employment days in Valencia, Mums with Guts in Spijkenisse and the urban farm in Naples. These pilots will be translated into workable formats and gradually rolled out through the FMP portfolio, starting in 2013.