Social enterprise rings up thousands of savings for Scots charities

Colin Loveday, Sally Melville, Caroline McKenna and Elaine Gray

SCOTLAND’S first dedicated mobile communication social enterprise has ploughed tens of thousands of pounds back into the third sector in just six months by helping charities drive down their mobile phone bills.

Dundee-based GoodCall aims to provide the lowest cost mobile communications solutions to charities and social enterprises in the form of better handsets, lower line rental contracts and expert, trusted advice.

The analysis service is 100% free, driven by a desire to protect charities from rising costs and red tape which are reducing the amount they could be donating to their beneficiaries.

According to Billmonitor* analysis, an astonishing 49% of UK businesses are spending more than twice what they need for mobile phone service with the three major providers, with UK SMEs overspending by around £1BN each year, equating to around £10,000 per business.         

GoodCall started trading in September 2019 when mobile communications entrepreneur Colin Loveday teamed up with award-winning charity CEO and ‘Community Woman of the Year’ (Women Ahead) Caroline McKenna.

The social enterprise went on to win the Social Enterprise EDGE (SEE) Award, part of Scottish EDGE, Scotland’s leading competition to identify and support the nation’s most promising entrepreneurial talent. The award of £80,000 allowed GoodCall to appoint its first employees and launch the website.  More recently, GoodCall reached the finals of the ‘Microbusiness of the Year’ category of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2020.

The social enterprise now employs two staff, with the long-term aim of training and employing customer service advisors from disadvantaged backgrounds, from within the charities and partners it supports.  The growing team is based at Dundee’s award-winning Water’s Edge development.

Chairman Colin Loveday commented, “No sector deserves truth and transparency as much as the charitable sector, so we are absolutely delighted to have made such a positive impact in our first six months of trading. Helping charities obtain mobile phones and contracts at low cost allows them to focus on the matter in hand, helping their beneficiaries, and we look forward to continuing to help other groups in the months and years ahead, creating an even bigger impact on the sector as we grow.”

Director Caroline McKenna added, “As a not-for-profit organisation we are solely here to help charities. It’s a ‘win-win’ – because we remove the friction from what is generally a sales-driven process, working on behalf of charities to analysis their current and future needs and source the best deals, empowering them to save money and time and generate better returns for the very people they’re trying to help.”

Good Call has attracted a number of clients ranging from a young person’s mental health charity looking to improve communication with its beneficiaries to a charity supporting vulnerable people excluded from family, home, work and community. 

One of the charities to benefit is Edinburgh based U-Evolve, which provides direct support to young people aged 11 to 18 who are facing mental health and wellbeing challenges.

Eilidh Macdonald-Harte, Chair, U-Evolve said, “We are a small but perfectly formed grass-roots charitable organisation doing critical work supporting young people across North Edinburgh. Our small budget is mainly used for staff costs and project resources rather than phones, however, as we started to grow, having mobile phones was critical to supporting the young people, particularly outside of school term. We could never afford mobile phones in our small charity so we are delighted with the service and lower costs from GoodCall.  We can now be available when our vulnerable young people need us.”

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