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  • Writer's pictureEliza Hardwich

MV’s pro bono support for social enterprises during the COVID-19 crisis

Updated: Apr 9, 2021

Mutual Ventures’ mission is to is to improve life chances by making public services better, more sustainable and more connected to communities. As the pandemic hit last year, we were mindful of the significant impact it was likely to have, not only on our own organisation, but on our clients and the communities they serve.

We contacted our former clients in the charity and social enterprise sector to see if we could assist by offering our support of free charge. The response from them was overwhelmingly positive.

Below we provide three examples of the work we got involved with, all aimed at helping our clients to be in a position to continue to deliver their services during the crisis and over the longer term.

Thank you to these clients for allowing us to use the case studies and trusting us to support them. We are proud to have been able to help.

Case study 1 – DYS Space’s Business Planning

DYS Space is a social enterprise based in Exeter, focused on unlocking the potential of young people and communities. Its previous business plans had been long and complex, and they wanted a simpler, more streamlined document. They also wanted a business plan that could be used by a variety of audiences both internally and externally, such as commissioners, children, and their parents. The plan needed to be clear and informative, as well as engaging and easy-to-read.

MV created a simple, clear, and visually-appealing business plan that detailed DYS Space’s values, vision and mission, alongside their development and growth objectives. The business plan more clearly represented who DYS Space are as an organisation and their future aspirations.

“As we transition from a new, to a maturing organisation, less dependent on our local authority ‘mothership’, we knew we would benefit from a complete refresh of our Business Plan. MV produced a superb draft for us to move forward with.”

Kev Henman, DYS Space CEO

Case study 2 – Social adVentures and financial sustainability

MV provided support to Social adVentures, a social enterprise in Salford specialising in public health and social care. The work focused on analysis and planning to ensure the financial sustainability of Social adVentures’ nursery business. Its three nurseries were hit hard by the announcement of a national lockdown, and the stipulation that all three were only able to accept the children of key workers.

MV developed a financial model that calculated the economic impact of reopening the nurseries at different times and under a range of circumstances. This allowed Social adVentures to make informed financial decisions around spending and resources, ensuring risks could be better managed and protecting the future of the organisation. MV developed the tool so that Social adVentures could use that allowing them to update the information as external factors changed.

Case study 3 – Risk management for Ripplez CIC

Ripplez CIC is a small social enterprise based in Derby and provides crucial assistance to young, vulnerable mothers or mothers-to-be, to meet their health and social needs, encourage aspirations for the future, and improve self-esteem. Ripplez required a more effective approach to managing risks and business continuity planning. They needed one central document applicable across the whole organisation, showing the status of the business at any point in time.

MV colleagues worked together with Ripplez to create an effective Business Assurance Framework (BAF). The BAF acts as a visual and dynamic tool that helps understand the key potential risks to deliver Ripplez’ strategic objectives and how these are being managed. Ripplez has found the tool useful for tracking and monitoring risk, in addition to summarising key issues for board-level discussions. It has also allowed the leadership team and board to focus their time on discussing the most critical risks and ensure swift action.

Justine Gibling, Ripplez Chief Executive, said:

MV provided excellent support in developing templates, bringing together key elements of the BAF into a user-friendly document, hosting workshops, and engaging all relevant parties. This ensured the BAF was not only a relevant and live document, but it provided the Ripplez Board with the assurances it needed. The Ripplez senior leadership team greatly enjoyed working with MV on this and valued their input.

For more information on our work with third sector organisations contact us


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