Social enterprise works
Posted: 03 Feb 2012
We’ve had some notable business successes lately - being chosen as the preferred supplier to run bus services in Guernsey is a case in point. One result that we are particularly happy about is the recent award of a significant grant from the Social Enterprise Investment Fund (SEIF) of £148,700. This will be used to purchase 2 new accessible vehicles for community bus services operated by Bristol Community Transport (BCT), who joined HCT Group in December of last year.
Two new vehicles added to a fleet of 370 may not seem like a dramatic development, but nothing could be further from the truth. In my view, this award is real success story for three reasons.
First, the vehicles will immediately make a real difference to people’s lives in Bristol. They will allow us to provide an additional 45,000 passenger trips every year, helping those who find mainstream public transport difficult to use to lead more independent lives - direct social impact.
Second, as CT Plus, we have only been working in Bristol since September – and BCT have only been with the Group since December. Our approach means that profits from our commercial work in Bristol will be reinvested back into community services, but that takes time and it’s great to be making a demonstrable difference in a community so soon.
Most important of all, is that it shows social enterprise really can work to make things better for people. The aim of the SEIF is to provide capital investment to social enterprises, enabling them to grow and become more sustainable. They have provided the funding for the vehicles, we will ensure that those vehicles can cover their operating costs as an enterprise and taken together, disadvantaged people in Bristol come out the winners. Now that’s something worth celebrating.