How we work
Our enterprise model
HCT Group has grown markedly from its origins in the 1980s as a traditional community transport provider, growing by more than a hundredfold over the past 15 years. HCT Group is now both a nationally respected road passenger transport organisation and one of the nation’s exemplary social enterprises in the delivery of public services.
We believe that to be an effective social enterprise we must also be an outstanding commercial enterprise. Our growth and our potential are driven by our five-point enterprise model.
HCT Group competes in the marketplace: The transport market is highly competitive, and the better we do commercially the more we can do for the communities we serve.
Innovation, quality and price win new business: By thinking about transport in different ways, applying different models of delivery, we can help our partners to escape the straitjacket of traditional transport planning. We also know that innovation must have a purpose; to demonstrably improve quality and – particularly in these difficult economic times – to make significant cost savings.
Delivering on our promises builds our reputation: Because we deliver frontline transport as well as design transport solutions, our proposals have to work – and work well. Making sure that we live up to our promises – or exceed them – has been central to our growth. Every single local authority we have ever worked with is still working with us today.
Shared values with our partners: As a social enterprise, we exist for the same reason as many of our partners – to serve our communities. This shared sense of purpose – and of values – has made for strong relationships and partnership working.
Rapid, consistent growth over 10 years: Our growth has been a real social enterprise success story in which our partners share. To guarantee our sustainability, we have had to ensure that managing ever faster growth is a part of our culture and one of the key competencies of the organisation.
Our Social Model
If HCT Group were a normal transport organisation, our model would have finished with our approach to enterprise. We are not a normal transport organisation, we are a social enterprise. By our actions, we seek to make the communities where we operate better places to live and work – particularly for the most marginalised in our society. Our social model works in three distinct but complementary ways:
Profit reinvested in the community: We reinvest profits from our contracts back into the communities where they are earned. This supports further transport services or projects and training services for people who are long-term unemployed.
Unlocking the potential of communities: We aim to create employment opportunities for people in our communities, contribute to our local economies, foster and support local third-sector organisations – particularly in community transport – and actively seek new ways to make our communities better places to live and work.
Asset-locked and accountable to our communities: When we expand into a new area, we develop local governance structures, seeking ways to be accountable to our communities. As a social enterprise, our assets are there to generate community benefit and, crucially, cannot be sold on or distributed for private gain.