Procurement social enterprise Fusion 21, which started in 2002 with a £250,000 loan, has enjoyed rapid growth over the past decade, turning over £6.5m in the most recent financial year.
The organisation works nationally with housing and public sector organisations to help with procurement solutions to enable them save money while delivering social value. As part of this, the enterprise also delivers a wide range of training and employment initiatives that target the long-term unemployed and offenders.
While enjoying this financial growth Fusion 21 has also managed to maintain and increase the social impact it is having - something many social enterprises often have trouble balancing.
Over the last decade it has generated an estimated financial benefit to the economy in excess of £30m through regular paid work and reductions in benefit claims. And, by including social clauses in its contracts, it has generated a wide range of other social outcomes including over 1,361 jobs for local, long-term unemployed people.
Pioneers Post caught up with Dave Neilson, the organisation’s chief executive, who has led the organisation since it was first formed, and spoke with him about how this growth has been achieved, and how the organisations has maintained such a strong social impact at the same time.