Everybody’s Business: our latest research into how businesses can help improve social cohesion

Belong has today released a report which sets out what businesses can do to help support social cohesion, both within their own workplaces and within the communities around them.


Everybody’s Business: the role that business can play in supporting cohesive communities sets out some key findings from a piece of research which Belong has undertaken in conjunction with the Intercultural Cities Network. Its findings are based on a series of roundtables we have held with local authority partners and a range of different businesses based in their areas

Everybody’s Business highlights some examples of good practice and sets out recommendations and guiding principles for how businesses could do more to support cohesive communities, and what local authorities can do to support them in this.

The report finds that business can play two primary roles in supporting social cohesion:

1. Business as an engine of cohesion

Businesses and workplaces themselves can be a fulcrum for bringing people and communities together. Businesses can help to maximise the positive impact they have in this by:

  • Recruiting a diverse body of staff
  • Promoting an inclusive culture through cohesion-aware management
  • Enabling minorities and diverse groups to lead innovation
  • Investing in social infrastructure in the local community

2. Business as a community partner

Businesses can also deliver added social value by supporting community organisations and initiatives which help to build cohesive communities. They can do this by:

  • Partnering with a local community group or charity
  • Providing direct support through employee volunteering
  • Localising their supply chain
  • Evaluating their cohesion impact

The role of local authorities

The report recognises that local authorities have a key role to play in these efforts and makes three recommendations to local authorities as to how they can enable businesses to do more to support social cohesion:

  • Providing leadership, such as a clear strategy for action
  • Incentivising businesses to act
  • Creating an evaluation framework based on local needs

Read the report here.