Oxford City Council launches new community platform
Match My Project, a free online community platform developed in 2021, is being launched in Oxford.
The scheme helps businesses come together and collaborate for social value by allowing community members to post requests for resources.
Requests can include advice on a project, technological resources, or funding. When a business fulfils a request, it can claim delivered social value on council contracts.
Since its launch, over 7000 businesses and community organisations have registered, and 262 projects have been facilitated through this platform. It is currently used by nine contracting authorities in England.
Businesses can also post to offer their services, such as apprenticeships, training, and other resources, which are available for request from educational institutions and community organisations.
The Council will help promote the website to the different organisations and communities which might benefit from the scheme.
The platform scores suppliers based on their demonstration of commitment to supporting the local economy. By offering training opportunities, paying at least the Oxford Living Wage, and using resources which are locally produced and sourced, suppliers will rank higher in the procurement process.
This opportunity is open to any Oxford business, not just City Council suppliers and members. An online launch event is being held today at 2pm.
Susan Brown, Councillor and Leader of Oxford City Council and Cabinet Member for Inclusive Economy and Partnerships, commented on the way this scheme would help make the city’s economy fairer: “Match My Project Oxford is a great way for local businesses to help us do this. By partnering with local community and charitable organisations, they can directly support local residents and reinvest money back into the city’s economy.”
The founder of the project, Dan Ebanks, also expressed his anticipation for the project launch, especially regarding the way in which the scheme will help innovate collaboration and social value: “We’ve long held the view there is untapped innovation in the local community sector. It has a deep understanding of local civic challenges. It is directly plugged into the local networks. It is often best placed to problem solve – but for a lack of capacity.”
“Match My Project removes this barrier. Our platform makes it easy for businesses to support community organisations that are themselves helping local people and delivering local, place-based outcomes.”