CIC Association

Serving Community Enterprise

Social Outcomes - Localism adds value

The Public Sector measure many of their contract values in terms of price and not impact; to date procurement has settled on best price calculated on lowest price linked to quality.


Lets start by dispelling the a myth and recognise localism isn't just about proximity, the impact and benefits in the local community are critical to the overall value of your response. What sort of things can you include?

  1. Recruitment
  2. Training
  3. Project work
  4. Supply chain
  5. Community engagement
  6. Working with the social economy

 are just some of the features a good response can cover.

Often we look at what we do in terms of the actual sector or discipline and fail to acknowledge the wider community benefit.

Here's an example:

A Community Café developed a low cost meals programme for their regulars (the main reason was to create a sustainable price for food purchasing - this approach created a guaranteed purchasing threshold). The impact of this simple scheme:

  • 2 new staff recruited from the long term unemployed; achieving intermediate skills and adult apprenticeships
  • 25% rise in regular customers; the impact on health was immediately visible as every meal had minimum nutrition content above the recommended dietary requirements
  • Secured local jobs in the supply chain and kept the suppliers within 10 miles of the Community Café.

Employing locally, local suppliers, local beneficiaries, health and well-being in the local community created stronger community bonds and led to more activity, creating a cycle and cascading a model of social improvement through the economy. 


Use all the tools in your bag; understand the impact and benefit of what you provide at the various stages of impact, look at the ripple effect because as you understand and provide evidence for supporting the claims your credibility improves, the add value and best value calculations in scoring are enhanced.

Localism and the Social Value of projects is built into the evaluation process - Social Enterprises need to exploit it.

Need any help please contact me - maybe I can explain a little more 

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Comment by Mark Trotter on October 2, 2013 at 15:34

Interesting presentation - often the failure of the innovation is the lack of understanding and local take up. Lets hope 'critical mass' is achieved through social value and enterprise to create the cultural changes required.

Comment by Jeff Mowatt on October 2, 2013 at 14:58

Yes, for us it was about business which invests in spinning of new business which create jobs in local communities. to "replicate localised people-centered economies on a global basis" as we put it. The proof of concept was in sourcing an experimental initiative in Russia and the work I just showed you was an application to the UK which would spin off new business, create jobs and invest in further social value. This is a Post Growth approach to local food and energy sovereignty, for example.

For my own community, I sketched out how this would align with goverment support for localism:


Comment by Mark Trotter on October 2, 2013 at 13:16

Hi Jeff I understand your point however localism is more than grassroots growth, it looks at how benefits percolate through the community and create a real depth of impact.


I do remember reading the articles you provided and some of the warnings were justified but not all - the BT programme is an illustration of one of the most troubling aspects of privatisation creating an infrastructure monopoly - it applies to the Gas, Electricity, Rail and eventually the Post Office.


I like the point you make - Thank you for the comment

Comment by Jeff Mowatt on October 2, 2013 at 11:16

Mark, For us, localism is the bottom up approach to economic development, In 2004 we reasoned that this was key to achieving the stated goverment objectives to broadband access. As we learned a few days ago, this is far from what is happening across the country as BT is set to benefit from up to £1.2 billion of public funds. Our warnings were justified, it seems.



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