Canada: Anchor institutions launch inclusive social procurement campaign
Launched in 2015, AnchorTO is a community of practice co-founded by the City of Toronto, comprising of more than 18 public sector anchor institutions seeking to achieve economic development outcomes. Having helped local institutions engage in social procurement in recent years, last year AnchorTO moved to upgrade this with an equity lens, with measures to enable greater numbers of Black-owned and diverse businesses benefit from its social procurement ecosystem. These include market research to understand the Black-led business landscape, new support resources to boost inclusivity and participation, creation of a diverse vendor searchable database, and a pilot of an inclusive vendor certification model.
UK: “Preston Model” successful in regenerating city
In 2011, Preston City Council adopted the Community Wealth Building approach, which was initially developed by the Democracy Collaborative in the USA. The subsequent local spend by Preston anchor organisations into local businesses more than doubled over the next few years. Between 2012-13 and 2016-17, Preston’s local spending increased from £38.3 million to £112.3 million, with the city’s unemployment rate halving. The “Preston Model” saw the city also move out of the top 20% most deprived local authority areas in the UK and was highly acclaimed for its approaches to regeneration and economic development.
USA: Cleveland scheme designed to achieve equitable development
In 2005, a multi-anchor partnership was formed in Cleveland to address a historic disparity between the powerhouse Greater University Circle neighbourhood and its surrounds. The Greater University Circle Initiative was launched to lift and redevelop the neighbourhoods surrounding the city’s University Circle district. The scheme centred on three goals: Buying local, hiring local, and living local, and saw a employer-assisted housing program, new cooperatives, and workforce training strategies implemented. These measures resulted in hundreds of new residents and trained employees and millions in local business revenue.
UK: Birmingham anchor institutions seek to create supply chain hub to boost SME procurement
The seven partners that make up the Birmingham Anchor Network have been investigating how to use procurement opportunities to increase their contribution to the city’s economy, with particular focus on socially generative SMEs. The Anchor Network is now investigating funding and piloting a dedicated supply chain hub, acting as an active “bridge” between Birmingham’s SMEs and the Network’s partners. The hub seeks to identify local SMEs with particular social value potential, develop the capacity of SMEs to deliver Anchor Network supply chain opportunities, accredit the social value generated by businesses, and provide an accessible way for anchor institutions to invite tenders to socially generative SMEs.