SOCIAL IMPACT

Breakthrough's R&D activity helped Sue to finance her social purpose projects. She had no need to do this but used profits from the company that would normally go to her as the 100% shareholder, to support her clients and partners instead. Her projects help them to get other funding, publicity or new business through her networks, awards, magazines, radio shows or partnership programmes. Sue and the company take no remuneration for this, but just see it as their social purpose which is wrapped around the core aim of getting back R&D tax benefit.  

Concentrating on social impact doesn’t just mean helping their clients though. Sue pledged that they should also be a responsible corporate citizen:

  • They gained the Planet Mark to ensure their environmental impact is kept to a minimum.
  • They were an ethical buyer, using local suppliers where possible and paying 95% of creditors before, or on, their due date.
  • They participated in the sharing economy by allowing other social enterprises and charities to use their facilities free of charge where practicable.
  • They offered free training on R&D tax relief to spread the net of R&D claimants as wide as possible, even if that meant not doing the work themselves.


OTHER CHARITABLE WORK

The whole team have seen first hand that their ability to help clients secure R&D money creates new jobs, eases cashflow, allows business owners to be less worried about paying the wage bill each month, afford that piece of machinery they so desperately need etc but that’s not enough for Sue. She also spends much of her free time supporting other initiatives close to her heart. 

In 2017 Sue wrote and published FoodTech UK to make a case for the UK as the centre for foodtech innovation and to attract inward investment. She set up the FoodTech Group within the highly respected Tech London Advocates volunteer organisation. As part of this she is currently advising the following in a voluntary capacity:

  • The Board of Mercato Metropolitano, to set up their social enterprise food destination in the heart of Elephant and Castle, where she is an ambassador.
  • The Mills Fabrica, a Hong Kong based corporation, to set up a foodtech hub in Kings Cross.
  • ForwardFooding, as a board advisor to collate, track and publicise a global foodtech data navigator.
  • The largest European network of tech creatives (The Talent Garden) based in Milan.
  • The Good Food Fund, as a member of the investment committee to help fund innovative food businesses that have a strong social purpose particularly in relation to childhood obesity.
  • Produced in Kent as a director and board member to support small food producers through COVID-19 and promote local food. 
  • The Guild of Food Writers as a member and sponsor of the Guild of Food Writers' annual awards.
In addition, in 2016 Sue set up Breakthrough Women with Deborah Turner, a biannual event for businesswomen.
Over the years Sue has also supported other charities and not-for-profits mostly in the arts, crafts, food and agri sectors as:
  • Chair of a local mental health charity for women encouraging them to start small businesses in the arts and craft space.
  • Volunteer treasurer and board member of the Kent branch of the Federation of Small Businesses supporting the self-employed and small business owners in the county.  
  • Governor and board member of the University of Creative Arts, the second largest provider of creative education in Europe with esteemed alumni such as Zandra Rhodes, Tracey Emin and Karen Millen. 
  • Trustee and non-executive director of Lantra, the sector skills council and awarding body for the horticulture and agriculture industry.
  • Non Executive Director, Food Technology Venture Capital Trust at NCL Technology Ventures to help secure funding for UK foodtech businesses.
  • A non executive member of the Audit and Risk Committee for six years of the government department (formerly called Department of Communities and Local Government) responsible for planning, building, housing, fire, emergencies and local government.
  • Voluntary part-time CEO and trustee of the Lighthouse Club, raising money for families of construction workers injured or killed in the course of their work.
  • The first female Vice Chair of the British Cleaning Council to support (often low-paid and unappreciated) workers in the cleaning industry.