New social enterprise call centre aims to create 10,000 jobs

Thanks to Deanne at iSE for this snippet. Call Britannia, a new UK social enterprise call centre has become the first business to secure funding from the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund, according to Social Enterprise magazine.

The new business, which is headed by Karen Darby, the founder of price comparison site Simply Switch, has secured a total of almost £1.3m in investment and funding to help it set up work training call centres in some of the most deprived neighbourhoods.

The Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund has invested £500,000, Big Issue Invest has invested £350,000 and the management team of Call Britannia has itself invested £150,000.

Call Britannia’s strapline says “talking jobs for Britain” and its Mission — with equal, elegant simplicity, reads: “Our aim is simple: To create 10,000 jobs.”

I love the clarity of those messages. Watch with interest!

  1. Simon Lee Reply

    I met one of the people involved in setting this up at UnLtd’s event on Social Enterprise day last week.

    I had a brief chat with him and they definitely seem to be very business-savvy and determined to make this work.

  2. Sebastien Reply

    Sorry to rain on the parade but from what I know about this venture, this isn’t a social enterprise at all. Yes, it is great that an “enterprise” is being set up in an area of deprivation. But merely setting up a business in an area of deprivation should not, and does not make a social enterprise.

    I think we have to be clear here – while this organisation may want to do “good” by employing people, the fact that it employs people does not automatically make it a social enterprise.

    Essentially Karen is setting up a similar business that she sold off to the Daily Mail a number of years ago called Simply Switch – which employed people in Croydon. Perhaps using the social enterprise tag makes business sense for her now….

    I wish this private enterprise well, but please use the correct labels…

  3. Jeff Mowatt Reply

    Did you know that a UK social enterprise has already “created” 10,000 jobs? By this, I mean using social enterprise to leverage public investment in microfinance. It happened in Russia in 1999 when the Tomsk initiative was sourced for USAID using own funds to research and develop the proposal.

    The result over 5 years was 14,000 loans and 10,000 new small businesses. it was described in a interview with a diaspora leader after incorporating in the UK in 2004.

    Details of both projects are on my website link.

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