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Social Impact Report 2017/18

As a provider of enterprise support to social, charitable, public, and other types of
organisations, I offer a range of services and activities to a wide variety of clients -
organisations, government bodies, individual enterprises, residents in local
communities, and thematic communities experiencing disadvantage.

However, underpinning all these different services and support are a set of core
values – values which I am keen to be open and transparent about how well I am
‘living up to them’ across all of my professional activities. Having supported a range
of organisations and sectors explore how they can do the same through the creation
of impact reporting standards and models since the late 1990s, I therefore created
this framework in the absence of any existing one for freelancers/sole traders such as
myself. I have openly reported against it since its inception in 2005, and continually
sought to expand it based on feedback and interest to ensure it can be most relevant
and useful.

One such way in which this framework has
been expanded is it now considers how my
reporting against my values are
contributing to global issues through
mapping the indicators within the
framework against the UN’s Sustainable
Development Goals.

Sadly, I’ve still not been able to identify any other freelance consultants anywhere in
the world who openly report on their performance in this way, although I continue to
attract global interest and acclaim for my approach in doing so and was recently
profiled by Social Value UK as a leading example of integrated impact reporting1.

W: www.adrianashton.co.uk

E: adrian.ashton2@gmail.com

T: 07786 492313

1
http://www.socialvalueuk.org/resource/adrian-ashton-case-study/
UN Sustainable Development Goals
In recognising that the Goals set by the UN in 20152 can only be achieved if all groups within
society (including businesses and sole traders like myself) all engage with this agenda, I have
mapped my impact indicators against the 17 Goals. In doing so, I have identified that my
core business activities are contributing to 5 of them:

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all
and promote lifelong learning

Impact of training on knowledge and confidence of learners supported = +60.7%

Learner satisfaction with courses developed = 95%

Learner satisfaction of courses delivered = 95%

Turnover invested in continuing development of own skills & knowledge = 7%

Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic
growth, employment and decent work for all

Proportion of supply chain purchases made within the 'local economy' = 34%

Tax paid as a percentage of turnover = 17.4%

Turnover invested in continuing development of own skills & knowledge = 7%

Value of pro bono support given = £4,316

Named as the UK’s best consultant to social enterprise in the Global SME Awards

2
https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote
sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Journeys by public transport, bicycle or foot = 58%

Tax paid as a percentage of turnover = 17.4%

Proportion of supply chain purchases made within the 'local economy' = 34%

Turnover invested in continuing development of own skills & knowledge = 7%

Named at the UK’s leading enterprise adviser by Acquisition International

Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and
sustainable

Proportion of supply chain purchases made within the 'local economy' = 34%

Value of pro bono support given = £4,316

Tax paid as a percentage of turnover = 17.4%

Journeys by public transport, bicycle or foot = 58%

Named as the UK’s leading consultant in enterprise support and development by ACQ5

Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate
change and its impacts

Journeys by public transport, bicycle or foot = 58%
Proportion of supply chain purchases made within the 'local economy’ = 34%
Impact Case Studies

The below offer a collection of examples of feedback received from clients and learners
supported over the year 2017-8. They highlight some of the different ways in which
outcomes and impacts have been able to be generated following my support to different
individuals, groups, and support programmes:

“I can certainly say that Adrian has been one of the best advisers I’ve ever met, as he went
above and beyond. He took the time to give detailed feedback and advice (including
resources) that were tailored to my specific need covering every single area including a lot of
things I had not even thought about. He was also resourceful in pointing me to other forms
of business support that are available for free that you wouldn't even think of, which is great
having the options.”
Undergraduate supported through University of Salford enterprise start-up programme

“Talking to Adrian was really helpful - not only to gain advice on issues but he was also able
to identify issues we hadn't been aware of. We have taken action since then and now feel in
a much stronger position for our next Children in Need application in a few weeks.”
Social entrepreneur delivering child education services supported though UnLtd probono
mentoring

Financial management

“I’m now able to read and understanding my company’s budgets and financial reports”
Charity manager on accredited course delivered for Anglia Ruskin University

"I now know what questions to ask of both my accounts, and my accountant"

“We’re going to start using external benchmarks in our financial reporting to better
understand our trading performance as a result of Adrian’s session with us”
Small business owners supported through Manchester Metropolitan University enterprise
growth programme

Business modelling

“I’m now desperate to get back and create a business model canvas after being introduced
to them by Adrian – I had no idea they existed, or the different benefits from using them in
different ways”
Social entrepreneur on School for Social Entrepreneurs NW start-up cohort
Benchmarking externally
In seeking to best reflect on the reported findings against my activities over the last year, I
also seek to to source external benchmarks. This is not simply to compare my own ‘results’
against, but also to seek to identify what might be the ‘norms’ for different types of impacts
and value generating activity:

Adrian Ashton External benchmark
Spend on CPD 7% 3.8%
Procurement from ‘social economy’ 12% 38.4%
Tax paid 17.4% 20.7%

Turnover invested in CPD

A survey by GetAdministrative in 2016 identified an average spend on CPD per employee
was £1,0683. Using a reference of the typical gross salary in that year of £28,028 (Office of
National Statistics data), this creates the benchmark of 3.8% investment in CPD based on my
approach to capturing it on myself.

Supply chain spend with ‘social economy’

In the absence of economy-wide surveys into procurement trends, I have elected to use
Social Enterprise UK’s own reported spend with the sector as a benchmark, which for 2016-
7 was 38.4%. As the national representative body for the wider social economy and
organisations within it of all types (social enterprises, charities, co-operatives, and such like),
this would seem to be the most prudent benchmark source for the time being.

Tax paid on turnover

As a sole trader, is it impossible to be able to source trends on tax payment details for my
peers nationally. Instead I have looked to the average tax paid as a proportion of gross
salaries as captured and reported for 2016-7 from several sources4, which is 20.7%.

3
https://www.getadministrate.com/blog/key-uk-corporate-learning-stats-for-2016/
4
https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/bulletins/an
nualsurveyofhoursandearnings/2016provisionalresults and https://listentotaxman.com/28028?yr=2016
‘Values in Action':
As someone who believes in the value of social impact reporting and strives to be transparent in
how I conduct my professional work, I have committed myself to monitoring and reporting
openly on my impact and the extent to which I have been able to generate benefits in relation to
my values:

2017/8 2016/7 Average over
last 13 years

journeys by public transport, bicycle or foot* 58% 93% 71%

turnover invested in continuing development of 7% 5% 5%
skills & knowledge

proportion of supply chain purchases made 34% 36% 41%
within the 'local economy'
(within 10mile radius of registered place of business)

proportion of supply chain purchases made 12% 14% 25%
within the ‘social economy’
(from co-ops, social enterprises and charities)

feedback on all training delivered 95% 98% 99%
(rating: excellent- very good)

feedback on all training courses developed 95% 96% 97%
(rating: excellent- very good)

impact of training on knowledge and confidence +60.7% +70.5% 56.7%
of participants

value of pro bono support given** £4,316 £6,443 £6,882

Tax paid as a percentage of turnover*** 17.4% 20.5% 20.9%

* In early 2017, a change in family circumstances meant I moved to an area with
less well connected public transport infrastructure options than I had previously had access to

** calculated from national day rate benchmark calculated by Skilllfair.co.uk

***This is the total of income tax and NI contributions and non-recoverable VAT on procurement
against my total turnover during the year