Businesses unite in a bid to make the UK economy ‘fit for the future’ by backing sustainable development

  • Over 80 major businesses have united to call on the Government to demonstrate its commitment to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the UK and overseas
  • Open letter to Prime Minister says sustainable development is essential for long term prosperity and the wellbeing of future generations
  • Letter is published on the eve of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting in Davos

In an open letter to the Prime Minister published today, thirdbridge, along with more than 80 leading companies have united in a call on the Government to demonstrate its commitment to delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals* (SDGs).

Ahead of the World Economic Forum annual meeting taking place on 17-20 January, businesses say they are ready to work with the Government to help deliver the SDGs in the UK as well as internationally, but that the Government must create a framework to help businesses play their part.

The letter is published on the day that the Business and Sustainable Development Commission publishes its own flagship report on the business case for achieving sustainable and inclusive growth, and quantifying the value of private sector opportunities aligned with the SDGs.

“thirdbridge are proud to be part of this group of companies calling on the UK government to do more than pay lip service to the SDGs.  The only way the challenges we face at both a local and global level can be solved is if all sectors – public, private and third sectors – come together to tackle them.  We strongly support a partnership approach, with business playing it’s role to achieve the SDGs.”  Rick Benfield, CEO, thirdbridge

The letter was co-ordinated by UK Stakeholders in Sustainable Development (UKSSD), a non-profit network of businesses, NGOs and academics working to advance sustainable development and help facilitate the delivery of the SDGs in the UK.  WWF, one of the steering group members for UKSSD had this to say:

“It’s good business to be fit for the future and consider long-term prosperity alongside the well-being of generations to come. Our current business models too often plunder and pollute the world’s natural resources with devastating consequences for our planet. From increasingly severe weather patterns to the dramatic bleaching of coral reefs and the destruction of rainforests, the need to protect our planet and its people is more urgent than ever before.”  Tanya Steele, Chief Executive, WWF-UK


Blog written by Rose Delfino, Community Development and Marketing Manager, thirdbridge



thirdbridge Partners with National CSR Awards

thirdbridge are excited to announce their involvement in the National CSR Awards, due to take place in May 2017.

We will be supporting as a communication partner, helping to raise awareness of the awards – now in its third year.

thirdbridge founder and CEO, Rick Benfield, will also be on the judging panel for the awards joining a prestigious line-up that includes Will Akerman (MyKindaFuture), Kathtyn Baddeley (Cisco), Claudine Blamey (The Crown Estate), Joan Walley (Aldersgate Group), and Robert Tate (Institute of Business Ethics).

“I am delighted to be involved in the National CSR Awards. Last year I attended the preceding conference as a delegate and it was hands down the best conference on CSR and Sustainability in 2016.  A fantastic line up of speakers, who held honest, frank discussions about the responsibilities that business have ranging from tax avoidance, to pension investment strategy, to employee wellbeing and community investment.  The winners of the awards reflected the transparency of the conference agenda.” Rick Benfield, Founder & CEO, thirdbridge



thirdbridge Sponsors The Corporate Charity Partnership Conference for Second year Running

We are excited to announce that we are sponsoring the Corporate Charity partnership conference on 11th October in London and are delighted to be able to offer our network members a £150 discount!

This a fantastic conference for any organisation who is serious about mutually beneficial cross-sector partnerships.  You’ll hear from your true leaders in this space from Unilever, Legal & General, Sky, Google, NSPCC, WWF, Scope and many more!  And of course it’s a great networking environment.

Contact us at for the discount code.

For full details of the conference programme and to purchase your ticket please visit the conference website:


thirdbridge recognised as top social enterprise with BVC award

thirdbridge has been announced as one of the winners of this year’s Big Venture Challenge, a programme for ambitious and scalable social ventures that is run by UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs.

thirdbridge - Big Venture Challenge Winner

After a competitive process, with over 450 social ventures expressing their interest in being part of the programme, and a resulting 110 submitting full business plans, thirdbridge has been announced as one of the 40 to be part of this year’s Big Venture Challenge. The final stage of the application process required each entrepreneur to pitch in front of a Dragon’s Den style room full of investors and various business leaders including ex-BBC The Apprentice judge Margaret Mountford.

SME’s account for over 47% of private sector employment and over 33% of private sector turnover in the UK underlining the importance of this sector to our economy. Almost a quarter of all SME employers consider themselves to have a social or environmental objective, and with UnLtd alone supporting over 1,000 social entrepreneurs each year, social entrepreneurship and the growth of social ventures is clearly playing an increasingly significant role in the UK.

The Big Venture Challenge will provide thirdbridge with support in scaling the business as well as the ability to pitch for up to £100,000 of match funding which can be used to leverage up to £500,000 of social investment.

“We are incredibly proud to be a part of the Big Venture Challenge – it is recognition that the vision and mission of thirdbridge is shared by people that can make it a reality.  We want to use this programme as a launch pad to reach more organisations across the private and third sectors, helping them to increase their positive social impact and improve the lives of thousands of people.”  Rick Benfield, CEO, thirdbridge

thirdbridge gets support from prestigious management consulting firm

Following an initial half day workshop in December, a team of Bain Strategy Consultants have selected to support thirdbridge in a pro-bono capacity over a 3 month period.

Bain & Company are a leading global management consulting firm headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. They provide advisory services to businesses, not-for-profit organisations, and governments, and are considered one of the worlds most prestigious management consulting firms.

The three month engagement will see a team of Bain strategy consultants working with thirdbridge to define the marketing strategy of the organisation. This involves a strategic review of the market landscape, customer market research and competitor analysis.

I am delighted and honoured that Bain have chosen to support us.  It is another sign of recognition that the thirdbridge vision and what we are trying to achieve is supported by global leaders in the business world.  The support that Bain will be able to provide will be invaluable – and is also a perfect example of a business using its professional skills to have a positive social impact.”  Rick Benfield, CEO, thirdbridge

Bain & Company

thirdbridge invited to shape the future of Corporate Employee Volunteering by the minister for Civil Society

thirdbridge have been invited to contribute to cross-sector research sponsored by Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, in how to best mobilise the corporate sector’s skills at scale, and create the infrastructure to enable more support to be effectively given to the voluntary sector.

The Cabinet Office research is being coordinated by Business in the Community and involves leaders across the charity, corporate and brokerage sectors, including; Waitrose, Accenture, Hogan Lovells, Conservation Volunteers, I Pro Bono, Zurich Community Trust, Involve Swindon, Involve Gloucestershire, National Grid, BT, Cranfield Trust, ivo, The Cabinet Office’s Local Intelligence Team, Envision, LandAid, Responsible Oxfordshire Business Involvement Network, Media Trust, NVCO, NAVCA and Fujitsu.

thirdbridge are playing a particular interest in the promotion of the shared value agenda, recognising and promoting both business and community benefits – as well as a drive away from short term volunteering towards move towards long-term, high value partnerships.

We are proud to be involved in the research and will keep posting progress updates on this blog as the strategy is developed and launched.

It is very rare that a group of such recognised leaders and experts in the field come togethertogether, we are seeking to develop a solution to increasing the quality and extent of skills sharing between businesses and the voluntary sector.” – The Hon Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society

thirdbridge wins backing from the UK Cabinet Office

We are delighted and very proud to announce that thirdbridge have won the prestigious Unltd Fast Growth Award which includes backing from the UK Cabinet Office.

UnLtd is the leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in the UK and offers the largest such network in the world.

The Fast Growth programme works in partnership with Santander and The Cabinet Office to fund entrepreneurs to scale social ventures.  The award is a complete package of resources; from funding, to ongoing advice, networking and practical support.

Our 2014 Fast Growth Award Winners are exceptional entrepreneurs tackling some of our most difficult social problems. Their solutions are innovative, effective and sustainable. They are driven, focused and with one thing in common: true dedication to using enterprise to solve social problems. We are very excited to be working with them over the coming year.” Albert Chong, Fast Growth lead at UnLtd

Fast Growth Award