Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation (Impetus-PEF) is committed to transforming the lives of 11-24 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds by ensuring they get the support they need to succeed in education, find and keep jobs, and achieve their potential. It finds the most promising charities and social enterprises that work with these children and young people. It helps them become highly effective organisations that transform lives; then helps them expand significantly so as to dramatically increase the number of young people they serve. In 2011, Impetus-PEF invested in Ripplez, a social enterprise supporting vulnerable teenage parents, promoting healthy outcomes for parent and baby.
Ripplez delivers The Family Nurse Partnership, providing mothers with in-depth support from nurses to prepare for motherhood and adopt healthier lifestyles for themselves and their babies. It is based on the Nurse Family Partnership in the US, which over the past 30 years has been proven to reduce neglect and abuse, improve development and school-readiness and increase the involvement of fathers. These programmes empower disadvantaged, first-time parents to change their lives and the lives of their children through evidence-based nurse home visiting.
As part of the Impetus-PEF portfolio, Ripplez receives funding, leadership support and pro bono specialist business expertise to scale up the impact of the organisation. A three-year business plan was a key capacity-building project for Ripplez, and PwC pro bono associates volunteered their time and expertise to support its development.
Leading the project were Andrew Turner and Altinay Yoruk. Andrew describes the role of pro bono associate as being a critical friend: “Ripplez had already done a lot of strategic thinking and wasn’t looking to change direction; it was looking at how it could reach more people and have greater outcomes and therefore greater impact. Our role was to help them think through how they would achieve this.”
Together, Ripplez and PwC developed a business plan that not just operationalised what the organisation wanted to achieve, but also developed a financial model enabling the organisation to become sustainable. As a result, Ripplez was able to clearly demonstrate its potential and secured further investment from Impetus-PEF one year later.
One of the reasons the Impetus-PEF pro bono programme is so effective is because it brings together the visionary minds so common in the social sector with the business acumen of the private sector. For Andrew, the value of being a pro bono associate is the knowledge that he is using his professional skills outside of the private sector: “The combination of minds and approaches brings different perspectives to the project, which is really valuable. I have worked on a number of these projects – each charity leadership team we work with is unique, but they all have visionary founders. The charity teams are always open to the process. What we from the private sector can bring is the commercial insight and the experience of driving efficient operations. But what we leave with is a greater understanding of how we can make a meaningful contribution to positive social change.”
Linking these two worlds, charity and private sector, is the Impetus-PEF investment director, who ensures the project delivers what is needed for the charity. “Working with PwC is always a pleasure because the team really gets interested in the charity and invest themselves heavily in the wider context of the project, to ensure they achieve the best results,” said Impetus-PEF investment director Elly De Decker. “Approaching it this way, it becomes more than just ‘a project’. After it was completed, PwC continued to show their commitment to Ripplez, and have even offered to review the business plan to ensure it remains as relevant as possible allowing Ripplez to continue to deliver impact in the long-term.