Paisley Social Enterprise moves into 5th Gear
Paisley-based teenage social entrepreneur Jordan McPhail is embarking on the next stage of growth for his social enterprise Aspire Community Solutions, thanks to a £30,000 loan from Social Investment Scotland (SIS) to purchase a new liveried van.
One of Scotland’s youngest successful social entrepreneurs, Jordan McPhail, 19, established Aspire in March 2015 as a community building business aimed at improving the local community by tidying it up and opening up green spaces for the local community.
As well as providing environmental benefits, Aspire also delivers a significant social impact by training up local people, who are out of employment, to deliver these services and ultimately enable their move into employment.
To date, the business has relied on a hired van to move his team from one job to another. The funding from SIS, through the Asda Community Capital fund, has enabled Aspire to purchase their own liveried van, allowing the team to take on more work, increase brand awareness, and help them deliver more staff and equipment on site.
The funding has also allowed Aspire to purchase some of the tools they require to carry out the bigger jobs which, previously, they had to reject due to a lack of appropriate equipment. Finally, thanks to the greater mobility offered by the new van, Aspire are also aiming to consider jobs outside East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire and Glasgow, where they have been operating to date.
The work is already coming in thick and fast. Jordan and his team have just started work on a £10,000 project to prepare an outside space for a school within East Renfrewshire. Other major contracts are currently under discussion with local authorities.
Jordan McPhail, Service Delivery Manager, Aspire Community Solutions “Through Aspire, we are trying to develop a new type of building service, one which gives back to the local community and helps to get more people back into employment. We know that there is a healthy demand, particularly among our public and local authority customers, for a social enterprise that can meet some of their specific property needs. However, to date, we’ve been held back by our reliance on a hired vehicle to transport us and our equipment between projects. Thanks to the funding from SIS, we have been able to buy our own van, branded with our business logo, which will not only help to spread the word about Aspire, but will also enable us to start taking on bigger jobs.”
Alastair Davis, chief executive, Social Investment Scotland “The addition of an extra van will make a huge difference to Jordan and his team, allowing him take on bigger contracts, which in turn will achieve greater economies of scale leading to greater surpluses. Ultimately, the knock on effect is that Aspire will be able to deliver greater social and environmental impact objectives, helping more people into employment and improving more public spaces. It’s great to see a social enterprise offering such a viable and credible alternative to the traditional commercial operators competing for these contracts. We’re really looking forward to working with Jordan and the Aspire team as they seek to take the next step on their journey.”