New Partnership Approaches with E3M Alchemy

New Partnership Approaches with E3M Alchemy

/ Blog, Networks

E3M Alchemy is a catalyst to support local public authorities to harness the power of social enterprise.


The E3M Alchemy process is supporting local authorities and other public service providers to explore new partnership approaches and harness the power of social enterprise, backed with social investment.

With support from the Connect Fund we are piloting an innovative challenge-based methodology focused on place. It is different because it combines the skills and experience of mature social enterprise leaders from across the UK, “bold commissioners”, funders and the E3M partners in working with local stakeholders in a place to explore new solutions to their challenges. To date we have run two 24-hour E3M Alchemy events involving over 100 people, one in Oldham and the other Rotherham, with a third planned in another location in the early summer of 2019. You can read the case studies from Oldham and Rotherham to find out more about how this worked and the emerging ideas.

The big takeaway so far has been the potential to do things differently, and for social enterprises and other public benefit organisations to scale their impact, working in partnership with local authorities. To make this work requires high level commitment from the public sector organisations involved – the application of a real purpose focused approach to social value, a progressive approach to procurement, access to the right kind of investment and social enterprise business models that can combine scale with meeting local objectives, and the involvement of key local stakeholders.

“A marvellous investment of people’s time, people with very large brains, lots of experience and really innovative ideas to help the Council with the significant challenges ahead.”  Commissioner from Rotherham Council

We will share further details of the impacts and learning from our approach later in the year.

Jonathan Bland, Managing Director, Social Business International and founder of E3M.