Legal & General: building small business skills in Wales
Legal & General is a top 20 global asset manager, and the UK’s largest provider of individual life assurance products. For almost 200 years, Legal & General has provided financial services to customers across the UK, and now the US. Its organisational purpose is to improve the lives of customers by building a better society for the long term, using its assets in an economically and socially useful way to benefit the communities it serves.
Global business, local support
As well as being a major global business, Legal & General has a strong commitment to local UK communities, undertaking research in local trends and capabilities, and offering support to help people and businesses grow. Its Cardiff offices house large customer service teams, as well as other functions like finance, marketing, and HR. From this base, Legal & General has long supported the work of Business in the Community (BITC) Cymru, since becoming a member of the network in 2007.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Legal & General has proactively supported communities in Wales through the National Business Response Network (NBRN). It has not only offered immediate support and donations to organisations tackling the effects of the pandemic, such as essential items for women survivors of domestic abuse through the charity Safer Wales, but also encouraged staff to use their skills and experience to support longer-term positive changes that can help Wales build back responsibly.
Building small business skills in South Wales
Colleagues in South Wales have played a prominent role in piloting an SME (small- and medium- sized enterprise) support programme in Newport, South Wales. This programme developed following a local needs analysis and partnership building that took place through the NBRN. It recognised that many communities could benefit from resilience building activities and skills promotion to help local economies weather the impacts of COVID-19. Similar initiatives were trialled in Scotland (Aberdeen), and England (the Fylde Coast).
As well as supporting the promotion and effective management of a series of small business support webinars for local Newport businesses, Legal & General also enabled Business Continuity Manager, Rosie Beech to play a direct role in assisting local businesses. Rosie was able to offer tailored, one-to-one support sessions with small businesses. She provides a space where business owners can talk through their recovery ideas, and explore new approaches to their digital capabilities, business planning, and marketing.
“I have been able to give my time and expertise to a few local businesses, advising them about the benefits of operational resilience and business continuity management,” says Rosie, “giving them tips and techniques to mitigate against risks and issues that may prevent them running their normal business as usual activities to ensure that they can continue to survive against an unplanned event”. A key partner in Rosie’s work was Newport Credit Union, who helped to connect a wider range of small businesses to the support, and signposted to free resources hosted by Legal & General and BITC. “I am grateful that Legal & General have supported me to volunteer,” Rosie continues. “Through BITC it has been possible to perfectly align my skills to volunteering in an area where I can make a positive difference.”
Aiding economic recovery
Claire Edington, Location Director, Cardiff at Legal & General commented: “Many small businesses experienced the brunt of the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many struggling to stay afloat and some unfortunately closing down. As a large employer in Cardiff, we are only too aware of the impact the pandemic had on our local business community and so we were delighted to have been able to play a role in supporting businesses and helping to aid economic recovery.”
“As a large employer in Cardiff, we are only too aware of the impact the pandemic had on our local business community and so we were delighted to have been able to play a role in supporting businesses and helping to aid economic recovery.”Claire Edington, Location Director, Cardiff, Legal & General
Jack Roper, Group Head of Sustainability at Legal & General added: “Small businesses and social enterprises are the beating heart of local communities. They provide jobs and opportunities, and because they are tuned in to what their customers want, they provide the products and services local people need. Strong small businesses mean strong, healthy communities. But to endure, communities need to be nurtured which is why we have been working with Business in the Community to support the local business community in Cardiff, helping them with economic resilience to ensure they don’t just survive, but they thrive.”
Build skills for your business today
Wherever you do business, you can take action to upgrade the essential skills of your workforce, and your communities with BITC. If you would like to find out more about how BITC’s extensive resources and support can help your business embed new skills for the future, contact our membership team.
40 years of working it together
Formed in 1982, and with HRH The Prince of Wales as our Royal Founding Patron, BITC is the largest and longest established membership organisation dedicated to responsible business.
In 2022, BITC is celebrating our 40th anniversary. To mark the occasion, we are recognising businesses, like Legal & General, who have been part of our mission to work better together by supporting local communities.
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