Business in the Community

Last updated
Business in the Community
Type Non-profit organization
IndustryNon Profit
Headquarters London
Key people
Charles, Prince of Wales, President
Antony Jenkins, Chairman
Amanda Mackenzie OBE, CEO
Website Business in the Community

Business in the Community (BITC) is a British business-community outreach charity promoting responsible business, CSR, corporate responsibility, and is one of the Prince's Charities of Charles, Prince of Wales.


BITC works with companies in the UK and internationally, who are committed to improving their impact on society. BITC seeks to positively shape business impact on the environment, in the marketplace, in the workplace and in the community. It is an organisation that works with businesses to improve their corporate social responsibility (CSR) credentials, offering advice and programmes tailored to meet their needs.

BITC was set up in 1982 and its current CEO is Amanda Mackenzie OBE, who joined the organisation in 2016. Prior to this, Dame Julia Cleverdon was CEO from 1992 to 2008 and is now vice president, and Stephen Howard was CEO from 2008 to 2016.

Each of BITC's campaigns is managed by a leadership team, made up and chaired by senior business leaders. Leaders include Steven Holliday, chief executive of National Grid plc; Mark Allen, chief executive of Dairy Crest Group; Paul Drechsler, chairman and chief executive of Wates Group; Richard Howson, chief executive of Carillion, and Ian Cheshire, CEO of Kingfisher plc. [1]

Business in the Community is one of The Prince's Charities, a group of not-for-profit organisations of which The Prince of Wales is president. Seventeen of the nineteen charities were founded personally by The Prince.

The Responsible Business Awards

Business in the Community launched the Awards for Excellence at its AGM in December 1997. Now known as The Responsible Business Awards, they are presented annually to businesses that are judged to show innovation, creativity and a sustained commitment to corporate responsibility. [2] The event is organized by the London-based Ethical Corporation.[ citation needed ]

The Prince's Seeing is Believing (SIB)

The Prince's Seeing is Believing programme was started by the Prince of Wales in 1990, by inviting businesspeople to go on visits around the county. Some 8,000 chief executives have led visits tackling subjects such as urban homelessness and illiteracy to challenges facing hill farmers in remote areas. [3]

BBC Documentary Series

John Walsh made the award-winning 2003 BBC documentary series Headhunting The Homeless following the work of Eva Hamilton’s [4] Business Action on Homelessness project as part of Business in the Community. [5]

Opportunity Now

Founded in October 1991, and supported by the then Prime Minister John Major MP, Opportunity Now is a UK membership organisation working towards gender equality and diversity in the workplace. [6]

The campaign's chair Helena Morrissey, CEO of Newton Investment Management and founder of the 30% Club, was appointed in 2013. [7]

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The Mosaic Network is a charitable initiative founded by Charles, Prince of Wales in 2007 as part of 'The Prince's Programmes' at his charity "Business in the Community". The catalyst was a memorandum from The Prince of Wales to Julia Cleverdon, who was the chief executive officer of BITC, and John O'Brien MBE, who was the director of personal programmes. Although it sat well outside the normal focus of BITC, Cleverdon gave O'Brien a free remit to see what he could create. The initiative very quickly became formed a multiple set of initiatives which included, The Mosaic Schools Network, chaired by Princess Badiya bint El Hassan of Jordon, The Mosaic Speakers Bureau with individuals including Pinky Lilani, Asad Ahmad and many others. It also consisted of a media network launched at Channel 4.

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<i>Headhunting The Homeless</i>

Headhunting The Homeless is a British documentary series for the BBC by John Walsh of Walsh Bros Ltd. This three part series followed five homeless people for over a year as they looked for employment on a new scheme involving two hundred companies, including Marks & Spencer, Pret a Manger and Wates Construction, following the work of Eva Hamilton MBE’s Business Action on Homelessness project as part of Business in the Community. The goal of this project was to try and break the cycle of homelessness for good, to challenge perceptions of homelessness, and to change the attitudes that business people have and in the process observe the demanding transition into the working world for homeless people. The series followed The Prince of Wales’ Seeing is Believing Programme and then pioneering a new multimillion pound Corporate Social Responsibility project, addressing attempting a new approach on CSR in relation to homelessness.

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  1. "Leadership Teams". BITC. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  2. Archived 2009-02-27 at the Wayback Machine .
  3. Charles, Prince (2013-02-03). "HRH The Prince of Wales discusses Business in the Community as well as his Seeing is Believing programme". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-01-11.
  4. "From one girl boss to another: Eva Hamilton of Key4Life". 11 December 2017.
  5. "Operational guidance - a Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions" (PDF). 16 April 2017.
  6. Grayson, David (2007). Business Led Corporate Responsibility Coalitions (PDF). The Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility. p. 31.
  7. Morissey, Helena (2013-11-16). "Finally, let's hear the truth about our top women". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2014-01-11.