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* arc – building better business was launched by Olympic triple jumper and London 2012 Ambassador Jonathan Edwards in September 2011 in East London

* The Hub Westminster hosted the announcement of the extension of the programme to West London to a business audience

* arc’s founder partners are London 2012 sponsors BP, Deloitte & Visa Europe and the programme is supported by national body for social enterprise – Social Enterprise UK

As the most amazing year of sport draws to a close and the nation asks ‘what will the long term legacy be from the Games?’

Business in the Community on 10 December announced the extension of its legacy programme arc – building better business - a programme to create a lasting social legacy stimulating the creation and growth of financially sustainable social enterprises – enabling them to provide employment opportunities for 2000 local people in deprived communities of London.

According to the Fightback Britain* report, social enterprises are starting-up and working in Britain’s most deprived communities - with 39% of them based in the most deprived areas of the UK, compared with just 13% of mainstream SMEs. The research also reveals the high growth potential and confidence of the sector, as they are twice as likely as mainstream businesses to have reported growth in the last year.

Social enterprise will therefore play a unique role in stimulating growth and jobs in communities, while tackling the pressing social issues faced by communities nationwide. arc is being delivered in partnership with Social Enterprise UK.

In addition to the Olympic host boroughs arc will support social enterprises to create jobs in Ealing, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea & Harrow, Hammersmith & Fulham, Spelthorne and Brent. The programme will combine the expertise and resources of founder partners Deloitte, BP and Visa Europe with Business in the Community’s 30 years experience campaigning on responsible business issues and challenging corporations to make a positive impact on their communities.

It will support social enterprises that will both tackle some of the social economic issues facing the host boroughs and create much needed jobs.

The first two social enterprises to receive support from arc West London are:

Bounce Back - charity and a social enterprise focussed on training and employment of ex-offenders in its painting and decorating company.
Bounce Back works to reduce re-offending, keep communities safer and save the government and taxpayer money, whilst building a highly professional and enthusiastic team of painter decorators.

Bounce Back has supported over 100 people into paid employment in the last year and continues to grow.
http://www.bouncebackproject.com/

Action Acton - tackles poverty by helping individuals improve their lives through education, training and employment. Their core objective is to “promote economic and community regeneration in Acton, Ealing and adjoining West London boroughs”.

Action Acton works with over 2000 people each year helping young people in trouble, lone parents, older people, people with disabilities and mental health difficulties, ex-offenders, refugees and ethnic minorities. They help improve their soft skills such as self-confidence and motivation but also work on their English, Maths and basic IT skills.

All of this combined, improves their ability to get an education, get on a training programme and employment which will improve their and their children’s' lives. Some of their projects include:

Wellbeing Centre – providing health and fitness for the community
The Donut Factory - Flexible office space for small businesses and start up social enterprises

Acton Market, in the heart of Acton Town Centre and supporting local businesses.
http://www.actionacton.com/

Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive, Social Enterprise UK – the lead strategic partner on the arc project said: “This is a really exciting project. arc is helping to raise awareness of social enterprise across the capital. It’ll be terrific to see social enterprises start-up and grow in some of London’s most deprived boroughs.

"Not only will jobs be provided at a time when youth unemployment is at an all time high, but whole communities will benefit because social enterprises are a force for good – they exist to tackle social issues and environmental problems.”

Jane Pritchard, Enterprise Director at Business in the Community said: “We’re excited to be extending the reach of arc today at a time when jobs and inspiration are much needed in our communities.

"Over the past year we have proved that the programme works supporting 35 social enterprise to create nearly 100 jobs – as we now scale up we are on target to create 2000 jobs and we are looking forward to increasing our impact as we plan for a national roll out later this year.”

arc is part of Business in the Community’s wider programme of enterprise initiatives to transform communities through job creation and economic renewal. It continues BITC’s 30 years of experience working with business and challenging them to make a positive impact on their communities.

For more information visit www.buildingbetterbusiness.org.uk

-ends-

Fightback Britain: A report on the State of Social Enterprise survey 2011 - August 2011, Social Enterprise UK http://www.socialenterprise.org.uk/pages/publications.html

Notes to Editors

The following spokespeople are available for interview:
Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community
Jane Pritchard, Enterprise Director, Business in the Community
Andy Holmes, Air BP Chief Executive, BP
David Sproul, Chief Executive, Deloitte
Peter Ayliffe, President and Chief Executive, Visa Europe
Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive, Social Enterprise UK
Fran Findlater, Chief Executive, Bounce Back
John Blackmore, Chief Executive, Action Acton

For press information, to arrange interviews or images please contact :

Zoë, Jim or Dirk: bitc@therabbitagency.com

About Business in the Community
Business in the Community stands for responsible business.
We are a business-led charity with a growing membership of 850 companies, from large multinational household names to small local businesses and public sector organisations.  We advise, support and challenge our members to create a sustainable future for society and to improve business performance.

Our members work with us to define what responsibility looks like in the workplace, marketplace, community and the environment - and we share what we learn about driving performance through responsible business practice. www.bitc.org.uk

About arc
arc is a unique initiative to harness the excitement and profile of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to catalyse job creation and social and economic regeneration in some of the UK’s most deprived boroughs. arc will support social enterprises to create 1000 jobs in the host boroughs by 2015, a further 1000 jobs in West London by 2016 and plans to expand nationally from late 2013.

arc is led by Business in the Community, in partnership with Social Enterprise UK and supported by London 2012 partners BP, Deloitte and Visa Europe and a collaboration of social enterprise organisations.

A number of London 2012 partners have also contributed as Associate Partners working with arc in East London including CBS Outdoor Media, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and InterContinential Hotels Group.
The programme suppors existing social enterprises looking to expand and is inspiring a new generation of social entrepreneurs to start and grow successful financially sustainable businesses.

About BP
BP is one of the world's largest oil and gas companies, serving millions of customers every day in more than 90 countries, and employing 80,000 people. BP’s business segments are oil and gas exploration & production, and refining & marketing. In alternative energies,

BP has low- and no-carbon wind, solar, biofuels businesses, and a carbon capture technology team. Through these activities, BP provides fuel for transportation; energy for heat and light; services for motorists; and petrochemicals products for plastics, textiles and food packaging. It has strong positions in many of the world's hydrocarbons basins and strong market positions in key economies.

BP's strategy is to create value for shareholders by producing energy in a way that is affordable and secure without damaging the environment in the process. It participates across the hydrocarbons value chain to explore for, develop and produce more of the fossil fuel resources that the world needs; efficiently manufacture, process and deliver better and more advanced products; and be a material contributor to the transition to a low-carbon future.

BP wants to be recognized as a great organization – competitively successful and a force for good especially among those communities in which we work; we have a fundamental belief that we can make a difference in the world.

About Deloitte
Deloitte is the official professional services provider to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, including the provision of tax, human capital, management consulting, and financial support services. 

So far Deloitte has provided more than 100 high calibre secondees to LOCOG and has delivered in excess of 170 advisory projects.  In all, Deloitte has delivered more than 375,000 hours of expertise in supporting the delivery of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

The Deloitte Social Innovation Pioneers programme which launched during 2012 is a programme that showcases and supports social enterprises and social innovations that demonstrate real potential for growth.
To find out more and register your interest please go to www.deloitte.co.uk/socialinnovation

In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.
Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

For more information, please visit www.deloitte.co.uk.
Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

About Visa Europe
At Visa Europe we believe that doing business successfully and being a responsible business lead us in the same direction, benefitting society and supporting and strengthening the economy by bringing fast secure payments systems to businesses and individuals.

A TOP Olympic sponsor for 26 years and a Worldwide Paralympic partner since 2002 we stand firmly behind the ambition of London 2012 to leave a positive legacy to inspire and engage disadvantaged communities.

Through our investment in infrastructure we have already ensured that London has the most advanced payment system globally.  And as a responsible leader in the payments industry we are committed to supporting the communities in which we operate by empowering young people in our local communities to fulfil a positive role in society. Apprenticeships are one of the ways that Visa Europe is making a commitment - currently two per cent of our workforce is made up of apprentices and our well established employee volunteer programme enables our people to share their skills and experience directly with local communities.

Our further involvement with arc is a natural extension of our community engagement and cements our vision to create shared value through supporting economic growth.

www.visaeurope.com/csr

About Social Enterprise UK
Social Enterprise UK is the national body for social enterprise. Social enterprises are businesses that are changing the world. When they profit, society profits.

Together with our members we are the voice for social enterprise in the UK. We do research, provide information and tools, share knowledge, build networks, raise awareness and campaign to create a business environment where social enterprises thrive.

Our members are local grass-roots organisations and multi-million pound businesses that operate internationally. What unites them is their commitment to changing the world through business. Visit www.socialenterprise.org.uk.

Follow arc on social for live updates, search hashtag: #arclive and follow us here:
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Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/ArcBusinessInTheCommunity 
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Published on: 10:30AM on 11th December 2012