By David Adair
Head of Community Affairs, PwC
I first became aware of the SEWF in 2010 when I was invited to speak in San Francisco about cross-sector collaborations along with Alastair Wilson the CEO of The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE). It was at the SEWF in San Francisco that I launched The Fire Station, PwC’s social enterprise hub in Southwark London, which was the seed of an idea that is still going strong.It currently houses The School for Social Entrepreneurs, Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) and Brigade – our triple sector supported restaurant that trains those at risk of homelessness in culinary skills.
PwC has been supporting the SEWF ever since, particularly in Brazil, Milan and Hong Kong and I am delighted we are one of the key supporters of the 10th Anniversary return to Scotland.
At PwC we don’t see ourselves as ‘sponsors’, we are collaborators, sharing ideas and in-kind support as well as cash. I am a passionate believer that no one sector, particularly the business sector, can make change happen alone, it is essential to collaborate and the SEWF is the ideal platform for this.
I have met some amazing inspirational people at the SEWF over the years and many have become co-conspirators ever since, such as Peter Holbrook CBE, CEO of SEUK and Claire Dove OBE, CEO of Blackburne House and of course Gerry Higgins, CEO of CEIS.
In the spirit of collaboration we will be hosting The Youth Talent programme and plenaries for the SEWF18 at our PwC Edinburgh office, PwC Netherlands will be sharing some recent research on social enterprises and local authorities at the Policy Forum, and we will also be providing expert speakers on subjects such as the The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and on procuring from social enterprises, the latter being of utmost importance to our 250 members of the PwC Social Entrepreneurs Club. PwC is signed up to the ‘Buy Social’ campaign and the Corporate Challenge, currently spending circa £1.8 million a year with social enterprises through our supply chain.
Engaging young people in social enterprise and business is crucial to our future success and we are pleased to be able to provide 30 bursaries to young people 18-26 yrs who joined us earlier in the year on the Drivers for Change journey to attend the SEWF (you’ll see the Drivers for Change participants at Blackburne House in the blog picture).
They are a vibrant group from across the UK and I am really looking forward to hearing their contributions into the Youth Forum.
I wish everybody a stimulating SEWF18 ….. Get collaborating!
PwC is a Platinum Sponsor of SEWF 2018 and bursaries for the SEWF Young Talent Programme.
Jeremy Willis from PwC will be speaking about Corporate Social Challenges – a new era of commercial/social collaboration on Thursday 13th September at 9am