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Using partnerships to tackle some of society's toughest challenges

This report looks at the impact and success of the Inclusive Economy Partnership Accelerator, an innovative programme through which 18 grant winners (social innovators) were supported to scale through meaningful partnerships with business, civil society and government.

The Inclusive Economy Partnership (IEP) is a Government initiative with the goal of changing the way that government, business and civil society work together to address some of society’s toughest challenges.

The idea behind the programme was that business, civil society and government could do more together by forming meaningful partnerships and a coordinated vision for change. An innovation programme was established to test which areas of partnership would be most successful in placing the UK as a world leader in building an inclusive economy and supporting social innovators to scale their impact. The result was the Inclusive Economy Partnership (IEP).

Supported by the Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), in partnership with Nesta, the three big challenges to be tackled were:

  1. Financial inclusion and capability
  2. Transition to work for young people
  3. Mental health in the workplace

This report highlights how we supported 18 IEP grant winners (social innovators) across our three challenge areas to scale through partnerships with business, civil society and government, and outlines the impact and success of the programme.

Each social innovator received a grant of £20,000 funded by the DCMS, along with a programme of events and activities delivered by Nesta, to help them design scaling plans and begin to implement them.

Key findings

  • Over the programme, Nesta engaged with 150 corporate partners, who offered varying levels of support. We made 230 introductions between the 18 social innovators and delivery partners, from which 100 confirmed partnerships have been established – far exceeding the original programme target of nine partnerships.
  • The IEP Accelerator programme was highly valued by social innovators (95 per cent of social innovators interviewed would recommend taking part in the programme to others), delivery group partners and champions.
  • The programme offers a promising blueprint as a new operating model for Government to create change on high impact issues – as the convenor of partnerships between high potential ventures, corporates and national reach civil society organisations.

Authors

Kate Sutton

Kate Sutton

Kate Sutton

Head of Corporate Social Innovation

Kate is responsible for managing Nesta's Corporate Social Innovation and Inclusive Growth work

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Khyati Modgil

Khyati Modgil

Khyati Modgil

Programme Manager, Government Innovation

Khyati is a Programme Manager in the Government Innovation Team, where she works on Nesta's social action and people-powered public services programmes.

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Thea Snow

Thea Snow

Thea Snow

Senior Programme Manager, Government Innovation

Thea was a Senior Programme Manager in the Government Innovation team.

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