Today Neighbourly has been recognised as one of Britain’s most disruptive companies in Bloomberg’s ‘Business Innovators’ list alongside household names such as Deliveroo, Crowdcube, GoCardless, Secret Escapes, MADE.com and Metro Bank.
Obviously we’re thrilled to find ourselves amongst such esteemed company only 18 months since launch. But the highlight for me is that we’re one of just five in a category called “Changing Thinking” - and that’s absolutely what Neighbourly is setting out to do.
Neighbourly connects community projects and charities with people and businesses that want to help. Our platform provides a valuable service to companies like Marks & Spencer, Starbucks and Ovo Energy. Each of these companies is pledging time and money to do amazing things for local communities in 2016 and they would like to do even more.
I believe that giving is too transactional. People give. Companies give (probably more than you know). But the truth is there’s little reward or ‘value exchange’ going on here. That’s a missed opportunity because behind even the smallest act of community kindness is a powerful story waiting to be told. These stories inspire us and move us all to do more. But they’re not always being heard.
Some of the greatest storytellers the world has ever known are our favourite brands –masters of imagination that make us laugh, cry, care and share. But above all, they get us to act. Sure, those actions used to be exclusively about buying their products. But the world is changing. We now have COP21 and the Sustainable Development Goals and as citizens of the world we’ll be more impressed by companies that play their part than those that continue to sell to us.
Business has a massive opportunity to use its campaigning skills to lead change in a way that everybody wins; to organise and inspire us, and empower their people to use their time and skills to help us all participate more. To bring us all together – companies, councils, communities and citizens – in a new movement for social action.
This movement will start at home, in the communities where we live. Local people will volunteer alongside local staff and re-discover what it means to ‘Be Neighbourly’. And as more businesses join in, their collective leadership will build the greatest force for good the world has ever known.
Bloomberg describes their Business Innovators list as companies changing the way we live, work, think and act – businesses that are transforming our lifestyle, our ways of thinking, the environment and the future for the better. We’re hugely proud to have made the cut in 2016. But our ambition is to help any business fit that description – for Business Innovation to become Business As Usual. The companies we work with are already there and should be applauded for their leadership. If together we can make business innovation ‘Business as Usual’ we surely will have succeeded in changing thinking.
Neighbourly recognised as a game-changer in Bloomberg’s 2016 ‘most innovative businesses’ list
26 January 2016