Social Value procurement is about to come of age, argues ANTZ Group’s Founder and CEO Jen Gillies Pemberton. And this week’s collapse of Carillion is only going to speed up a trend that is already happening across business (Published: 01 Jan 2018)
ANTZ Chief Executive and Founder Jen Gillies Pemberton

If ever there was an illustration of why a different way of doing and procuring business is needed it is this week’s collapse of Carillion.

The high profile failure has shown a need for alternative ways of doing business – one that is not just focused on simple profit measures but one which benefits people and communities too.

The Social Value Act asks commissioners to think about how providers will benefit the communities where they work. In Greater Manchester the GMCA Social Value Policy sets out a framework that is being used to guide the awarding of all tenders and not just ones that are so large as to fall within EU thresholds. The collapse of Carillion is only going to strengthen that trend.

So if your company hasn’t already got a CSR policy and it’s on your 2018 to-do list – my recommendation is simple: don’t bother. The world has moved on; and embracing social value is a better way for businesses and charities to work together for greater impact.

Gone are the days when the best thing a business owner could do for a charity is invest in a few cans of paint and offer to let a few team members spend a day revamping the office. There are better ways for your business to help that charity and your community, and better uses for your staff’s time.

Carillion’s collapse means we will certainly now see even more business leaders in Greater Manchester and across the UK using their business acumen to create effective solutions that both deliver social value and drive sustainable business - benefiting their local community while at the same time improving their own bottom line.

More and more charities are responding to this new climate, engaging with corporate enterprise, building business links and seeing the benefits of more and deeper relationships and connected strategic goals with the private sector.

My experience sitting as a commissioner on the Salford Poverty Truth Commission has helped me see how community groups and charities are an integral part of the local landscape, helping meet unmet need and providing support to people that would otherwise fall through the gaps. The value they add locally is often undervalued and the difference they make to the lives of local people invaluable.

But that doesn’t mean of course that all the people these groups are coming into contact with are ready for work – and for some people that will never be an option.

However, if you’re a company looking to do business differently we can connect you with a charity or social enterprise that can help you deliver your commercial aims in a new way – by embracing and delivering social value rather than CSR. It’s an approach that works for many members and clients of the ANTZ social value network. From business member SE Recycling to social enterprise Voice Box Inc, more and more organisations are realising they can grow their business in a sustainable way that benefits the local community.

We’ve come a long way since we started out in 2011. There’s a lot more understanding about what social value is and some of our straplines such as ‘grow and give back’ or ‘doing business differently’ have taken on a life of their own. So things have certainly changed – a lot! Locally and across the globe businesses are striving for authenticity and greater impact – not just in terms of their relationship with their customers, but also with their staff and the communities where they are based.

This means more than talking a good talk – for us at ANTZ what matters is the action and the doing. And we enable this by bringing people together to work across sectors to work supporting identified local community need. This directed giving and commercial alignment also helps create better workplaces, where staff know their efforts are not just driving profits but benefiting the local community in real delivery terms – not just through a CSR policy that is gathering dust on the shelf and also drives health and wellbeing in the workplace.

In 2018 we were already due to see the financial sector starting to unlock potential impact investment to encourage and incentivise more companies to work in this way, helping deliver lasting community change as well as profits. With the collapse of Carillion it’s likely that social value procurement is going to take off as never before.

2018 might well be the year social value truly comes of age.

Our team can help enable pathways for businesses to have measurable impact in many areas.

Some of the packages of support we offer include Mental Health in Work, Social & Economic Review by Region, Impact mapping and Reporting, Language and Communication, Procurement and Investment, Board Room Culture, Project Design, Advisory Services.

Social Value Procurement Services – ANTZ 3 Tier Approach

Outcome - Impact Led Innovation that is scalable to deliver Corporate Social Innovation within the procurement and supply chain.

Boardroom Workshop (Shift Change) Leadership and Social Value Strategy

Outcome - Aligned Commercial and Social Strategy

ANTZ established itself in 2011, and we’ve continued our dedication to delivering the highest quality support to our clients, members, and partners, building sustainable models that will enable us to scale our own impact and others. If we or any of our partners can be of help please email

ANTZ Group are leaders in social value innovation, bringing together businesses with charities, social enterprise and community groups to achieve social impact. ANTZ was founded by CEO Jen Gillies Pemberton in 2011 in Greater Manchester (ANTZ Network) and has since expanded into the Midlands, London and the Netherlands. Jen sits on the Salford Poverty Truth Commission and the GMCA Homelessness advisory team which is being built in partnership with other leaders from GM.