Social business stimulating part time recruitment wins £100,000 of investment from RBS Group Microfinance Funds at Good Deals 2013
Two mothers and a father who champion the social and business benefits of growing good quality part time and flexible working opportunities in the recruitment market, have won investment of £100,000 from RBS Group Mircrofinance Funds at the annual social investment conference Good Deals.
One of three social ventures shortlisted to pitch to a panel of investors chaired by RBS's head of charities and public sector, Hugh Biddell, the Timewise Foundation (www.timewisefoundation.org.uk) received overwhelming support from the panel as well as winning audience votes in the live pitching contest, which took place at Good Deals on Thursday 7 November.
The Timewise Foundation runs services to stimulate the creation of more good quality part-time and flexible job opportunities, and represents 50,000 people, who all want or need part time or flexible work to fit with something ‘other’ in life.
Set up by Emma Stewart, Karen Mattison and David Curtis, the foundation aims to reduce maternal worklessness, child poverty and gender inequality by shapinga new kind of recruitment marketplace, where employers can extend the flexibility they offer in their employment practices into their recruitment practices. The foundation also tackles outdated perceptions of what a part time job is, or can be.
Timewise Foundation co-founder Emma Stewart, MBE, said: “Millions of people face significant levels of social disadvantage and deprivation in the UK as they struggle to find work that they can fit with other core commitments in life. Be that caring for young children or elderly parents. We are dedicated to tackling inequalities and economic hardship and are working to ensure the social and business benefits of part time working are understood.”
“Stimulating more quality part time jobs in the economy has the potential to create significant social and economic impact – an important step towards building a resilient and sustainable society. This £100,000 investment means we can push for genuine scalability – championing the business case to employers for the social and economic value of part time work.”
Over the past eight years, Timewise Foundation has reached out to more than 50,000 jobseekers, provided dedicated support to over 5,300 and helped more than 2,000 into jobs.
Initially launched as social enterprise Women Like Us, which provides career advice and support to women back to work after having children, its services have grown to include Timewise Jobs and Timewise Recruitment, a jobsite and recruitment agency specialising in quality part time and flexible vacancies.
The Good Deals Pioneers Fund saw Timewise Foundation compete against Co-wheels car club, which offers an alternative to car ownership and the environmental damage that entails, with ‘pay by the hour’ cars parked at pick-up locations across the UK, and Upturn Enterprise, which exists to help individuals, private and third sector organisations and businesses unlock and fulfil their potential to create positive social change.
Hugh Biddell, RBS's head of charities and public sector, said: “We had three very good applications for the Good Deals social investment fund but the Timewise Foundation is the worthy winner. It has a strong track record and has developed the business to ensure it balances both a social and commercial focus that is creating significant change on the mainstream recruitment market and channelling important debate around the significant economic and social impact of developing a flexible labour market that support part time jobs.”
Tim West, Director of Matter&Co, the social innovation company behind Good Deals, said: “This is the second year that Good Deals has successfully made a social investment possible. The longstanding mission of this conference is to introduce social investors with great social businesses in order to get good deals done. The Timewise Foundation has got a clear social mission backed up by a commercial proposition that is sustainable through employer revenue. The benefits of workplace flexibility, particularly for people with families, are clear to see. Supporting Timewise Foundation to develop the recruitment market to better service families is a great investment.”