Business in the Community

Business in the Community (BITC) is a business-led charity with a growing membership of over 850 companies and a further 10,700 engaged in our campaigns. Through our members we have an employee reach of 16.8 million. Together we are one of the largest and most influential leadership networks focused on driving responsible business practice. Our vision is for every business to act responsibly and so ensure a sustainable future for all.

We do two things: We ask our members to work together to transform communities and tackle key social issues where business can make a real difference: environmental sustainability; marketplace behaviour; workplace and employees; education and young people; employment; and, enterprise and renewal. And we offer our members a range of training and advisory services, benchmarking and management tools; practical information and resources; and brokerage services to help them transform their businesses and engage with local communities.

BITC is based in the UK and works locally and nationally through 11 regional teams and internationally with 115 global partners. It is one of the Prince’s Charities, a group of not-for-profit organisations of which The Prince of Wales is President.

BITC has been involved in the UK Department of Health-supported International Collaboration on Social Determinants of Health to better understand and communicate the role of the private sector in tackling social determinants of health. It actively campaigns for and works with its members to enable unemployed people from excluded groups to gain and sustain employment. Recent relevant research has included a study that identified emotional resilience as a key factor in sustaining employment and a joint study with New Economics Foundation showing that homeless people are not always better off in employment if work is low-paid and part-time.

In DRIVERS, BITC will participate in reviewing the relevance and clarity of work on Employment and Workplace Conditions, provide expert input into relevant meetings and conferences arranged during the project, and support the organisation of a final seminar on work, employment conditions and health inequalities.

Staff involved:

BiTC-Anne-Willmot-e1335982455744-125x125Anne WILLMOT: Director Business Action on Homelessness (BAOH). Prior to joining BITC Anne spent 15 years at Boots in a variety of commercial roles including supply chain management and new business development. She managed BITC’s education and employability programmes in the East Midlands for five years engaging business to tackle disadvantage. In 2006 she moved to the BAOH National Team and is currently Director of Business Action on Homelessness. She is a director and trustee of Springs Nottingham, a charity providing learning and therapeutic activities for adults with learning difficulties especially those on the autistic spectrum. She has degrees from the University of Cambridge and De Montfort University.

BiTC-Steph-Hagan-125x125Stephanie HAGAN: Head of Community Investment. Stephanie leads BITC’s work and research on how companies impact on social and economic issues. Her most recent work is the development of the ‘Community Footprint Tool’ to allow companies to understand their impacts on the people, economies and places where they operate. She joined BITC in June 2002 to manage a three year government-funded pilot programme to increase business involvement in local regeneration. Since then she has led projects on topics ranging from urban regeneration to impact assessment, social housing and health inequalities and written several BITC publications. Stephanie’s background is in research and consultancy where her work included socio-economic research; consumer/audience profiling; and brand and publications management. She has degrees from the University of Oxford and Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design.

BITC-Rebecca-Ford_125x125Rebecca FORD: Policy & Research Manager, with a particular focus on issues related to the employment of disadvantaged groups. As part of BITC's contribution to DRIVERS, Rebecca has been undertaking qualitative research with senior practitioners working in the fields of human resources and corporate responsibility to understand more about how companies make work accessible and sustainable to disadvantaged groups. She is looking specifically at recruitment, retention and well-being policies and practices, how companies measure and report on health and well-being and what factors drive company behaviour in relation to supporting disadvantaged groups. Past projects at BITC have included investigating the role of emotional resilience in supporting homeless people to sustain employment and working in conjunction with New Economics Foundation to examine the impact of the social benefits system on homeless people’s experiences of gaining and sustaining work. She holds a degree in Communication and Media Studies from Loughborough University.