CEO Article: Where business meets community - Central District Alliance

CEO Article: Where business meets community

Businesses working within a community

Recently, there has been a shift in business culture towards a focus on social responsibility. But how do you and your business begin to think about incorporating social value as part of your core business model?  At Central District Alliance, we have engaged with organisations such as Action Funder, Breaking Barriers, and Good Work Camden to provide tried and tested programmes for our business community. Feel free to reach out to us for advice on social Additionally, there are plenty of resources available online that will help guide you and your business through the process.

In many ways, this shift is a win-win for everyone involved; it helps solve problems within communities by promoting engagement between businesses and their local communities as well as between businesses and their employees.

This then leads to an increase in companies focused on providing value beyond their normal business practices.  Many of these organisations pride themselves on their values, which include supporting refugees and helping them integrate into society by providing them with employment opportunities. Some of these companies are even offering employment opportunities through apprenticeships for people who want to learn about specific industries or gain experience before going into it on their own.

CDA has worked with local communities through grant giving opportunities; partnering with Action Funder to provide grants of up to £3,000 to organisations who are working within the Holborn and Clerkenwell communities. Through Action Funder we were introduced to a multitude of charities doing some transformational work in a variety of fields including employability, refugee support, sport, and more

One charity CDA frequently works with is Breaking Barriers – an organisation dedicated to supporting refugees and helping them to engage with the workforce in a meaningful and strategic manner. Breaking Barriers are taking matters into their own hands by partaking in community working; making a difference to the lives of the refugees who need it most.

To mark this year’s Refugee Week, Breaking Barriers is extending the invitation to join their webinar on Tuesday 21st June to our business partners. Join the webinar and find out how businesses can support refugees into employment and the value this can bring. Click here to join.

In parallel to the work Breaking Barriers are doing, we have partnered with London First who are bringing together various sectors to rise to the challenges of the Ukraine crisis.

Lastly, we are working with Camden Council and Islington Council, who are key strategic stakeholders, to provide resources to support people into apprenticeships and work. CDA recently took part in Camden’s Job and Skills fair, which enabled jobseekers to find immediate openings, across variety of industries. Employers from numerous industries were eager to hire for career advancement or a fresh start.

Community working is a strategy that focuses on building relationships with local communities, rather than trying to force them into changing their values or beliefs. Through community working, businesses can engage with communities so that they feel welcome, understood, and empowered – and ultimately able to take advantage of employment opportunities that otherwise may not be easily accessible.

For more information, or to find out how you can shift your focus on social responsibility, email

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