LCR shows commitment to good business

Kindred is a key part of Liverpool City Region’s (LCR) commitment to growing the impact of good business. The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has committed £5.5m to the city region’s social economy over the next three years, alongside a further £1m from Power to Change.

Kindred is designed to grow the impact of socially-trading organisations (STOs)* across the city region. Its launch was fast-tracked due to the Covid-19 pandemic to provide support to the social economy throughout lockdown, and is now entering a new phase, preparing businesses in this vital sector for investment with new kinds of money and support.

The Kindred team is currently working with around 200 STOs, helping them secure buildings, make contacts, develop their business models and get investment-ready. The sector covers a variety of organisations and ideas, for instance:

  • Merseyside Somali and Community Association has been feeding and supporting residents throughout lockdown, providing door-to-door support for vulnerable residents, and is now branching out into its own taxi business.
  • St Helens-based Café Laziz has started a cafe run by refugees, to help them develop their employability skills whilst providing a community cafe, serving Arabic food to local residents. The food has proved so popular that they took jacket potatoes off the menu, because customers were choosing Arabic dishes instead.
  • In Runcorn, Sew Halton has moved from community sewing classes to providing online sessions during lockdown, and is now prototyping environmentally sustainable period pants, which will create a new manufacturing facility in the borough.
  • On Wirral, Grow Wellbeing is using outdoors space to promote wellbeing and run Forest Schools for local children.

 

Kindred’s model for investment in the social economy has been developed by and with over 150 socially-trading businesses, aiming to provide the kind of support that STOs have told us will enable them to grow.

This week, the Kindred team is bringing its expertise to the city region’s Good Business Festival, a unique event, commissioned by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, to explore the power of business to bring positive change. The team will take part on panels in a number of The Good Business Festival events, including the sessions titled “WTF is happening?”, Solutions Salon and The Good Conversation.

Cllr Kate Groucutt, Deputy Portfolio Holder for Inclusive Economy and the Third Sector, said: “In spite of this terrible pandemic we are as committed as ever to our ambition to build a globally competitive, environmentally responsible and socially inclusive economy in the Liverpool City Region, and our socially-trading organisations have a key role to play in achieving that goal.  We have listened to the sector and committed the £5.5 million to enable the sector to support itself through Kindred.

“The sector’s inspiring response to the pandemic has demonstrated its importance to our economy and our communities.  Our socially trading organisations will play a key role as we build back better and they will be supported by Kindred all the way.”

Vidhya Alakeson, CEO of Power to Change, strategic partner and co-investor in Kindred, said: “The social economy has long been a strength in the Liverpool City Region and that is why Power to Change chose it as a priority place for our support. As we think about how we can emerge from the coronavirus crisis and into a better, more inclusive future, where everyone can benefit from economic growth, we must knit the social economy into the heart of our wider economic strategy. Kindred is central to making that happen, providing long term support to enable socially trading organisations to grow and deepen their social impact. We are delighted to partner with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to make Kindred a reality.”

Erika Rushton, Creative Economist, has been commissioned to deliver the set up and delivery of Kindred. “Kindred is the creation of over 200 socially-trading organisations in Liverpool City Region – the product of their collective experience of running organisations and businesses that serve the communities they’re a part of. It uses their expertise in what enables them to set up and grow. Kindred is owned by, and for, this growing network of STOs and offers a new kind of money and peer-to-peer support, designed to help deliver the kinder and more inclusive economy our city region and its mayor have set out to deliver.”

For more information, please contact Fiona Shaw or Andrew Beattie at Wordscape / fiona@wordscape.org.uk/ andrew@wordscape.org.uk, 07900 061 543 / 07795 183 078

For more information about the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, or to request an interview with the Metro Mayor, please contact Andy Swain on 07787 227162 or andy.swain@liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk

Notes to editors

STOs are businesses with social purpose at their heart and include everyone from CICs and social enterprises to community businesses, community land trusts, cooperatives and some mission-driven companies and family businesses.

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has committed £5.5m in funding for Kindred, alongside £1m from Power to Change.

Social businesses make up a significant part of the LCR economy. 2019 research by Seebohm Hill showed £11.3m investment in 42 STOs in the region, with projected demand from 740 organisations for £35m. Not only does money invested in socially-trading businesses offers significantly better financial returns, but the social and solidarity sector as a whole supports 50,000 and is worth £2.9 billion.

About Power to Change

Power to Change is the independent trust that supports community businesses in England.

Community businesses are locally rooted, community-led, trade for community benefit and make life better for local people. The sector owns assets worth £890m, and comprises 9,000 community businesses across England who employ 33,600 people. (Source: Community Business Market 2019)

From pubs to libraries; shops to bakeries; swimming pools to solar farms; community businesses are creating great products and services, providing employment and training and transforming lives. Power to Change received its endowment from the National Lottery Community Fund in 2015.

www.powertochange.org.uk @peoplesbiz

For more information please contact: Natasha Ley 07725 565890 Natasha.Ley@powertochange.org.uk

About the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

At the Combined Authority, our aim is to ensure that everyone benefits from the decisions we make. We want to create an environment which allows our economy to thrive for the good of everyone who lives and works in Liverpool City Region.

We work together to make investments in areas that have a real impact on our communities, such as transport, employment, culture, digital and housing. By using the devolved powers we have, we can make a real and meaningful difference to the lives of the people living and working in the area.

The Combined Authority is led by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and brings together Liverpool City Region’s six local authorities – Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral – to tackle the big issues that matter to us all, together.