Social value for suppliers

Our step by step guide for businesses and suppliers who want to create social value.

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Your social value journey

Our step by step guide will guide you along every step of your journey to becoming a business or supplier that creates social value.

First steps

We've got your interest, but where can you start? The first step is to really understand the value you want to add or promote.
Here are some things you might want to do:


Your organisation is already committed to social value and has some idea of what it is, but making it stick can be difficult. There are a number of things that will help bring this into everyday practice.

  • Agree what your social value imperatives are - what kind of value(s) you want to encourage.

  • Use your organisation's communication channels to communicate about the kind of social value you want to promote.

  • Apply clear and consistent assessments of social value against priorities - you could use the National TOMs (Themes, Outcomes, Measures)

  • Build a register of local and social suppliers of goods and services or signpost to an existing one (eg. Supply Change, Owned By Oxford, Social Enterprise UK)

  • Signpost potential suppliers to local opportunities to add social value (eg, OSEP, Owned by Oxford, OxLEP)

  • Invite local/social suppliers to bid for contracts.

  • Track the social value being generated.

  • Make it easy for suppliers to deliver social value by highlighting where the needs are. Match my Project is a useful tool.

  • Establish a social value policy or strategy.


Now you're motoring… You're seeing the social impact being captured and are generating great examples. Where do you go from here?

  • Make social value part of a holistic decision making in all organisational contexts - e.g. Doughnut Decision Framework, Social Value Imperatives, Islington Asset Transfer.

  • Introduce minimum social value standards/conditions applied to all contracts - e.g. social value imperatives, Oxford Living Wage.

  • Strategically horizon scan procurement pipelines - identify gaps and work with local social economy to incubate/support new market entrants.

  • Make social value core to contract specification, not just additional.

  • Account for hard to measure ‘subjective’ benefits alongside those that are easy to quantify.

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