04 Aug 2022
Right from the start of Inside Job Productions, we’ve been operating as a social enterprise. Recently we’ve incorporated as Community Interest Company. The meaning is the same – it’s a change in legal structure – but both CICs and social enterprises operate as a “not for profit business” with primarily social objectives, meaning that it does not operate for private profit. Any profit which is generated is used to grow and develop its business benefiting an identified community.
What does this mean for IJP?
For us as a film production company being a social enterprise means that the profits we make from corporate film and charity communications projects are reinvested into projects that benefit society. We focus on putting our profits back into media training, and the community that our film production company serves is anyone with a debilitating mental health problem. Being a social enterprise or CIC is really about living out our values every day. We seek to have an impact and change lives, and believe that film production and films themselves really can change lives.
What is a social enterprise?
Social enterprises focus on making the world a better place. It’s something we’re committed to. Whether it’s working with underrepresented communities, telling unique stories from voices that often go unheard, choosing to work with businesses and organisations who have a strong Corporate Social Responsibility programme and are committed to doing the right thing, or having a lower cost option for charities on low income, we really walk our talk.
What this looks like varies at each project, but the main areas we focus on are knowledge, education and creating community. We believe that our work is impacting lives and society, through meaningful and positive change. Inside Job Productions make sure that as a social enterprise film company we don’t just focus on the ends (e.g. great films). We make sure we also look at the means (supportive opportunities for people facing challenges) and outcomes (more people in employment, or a shift in attitudes).
How does IJP achieve this?
Through our Production Trainee Programme we offer work experience and employment opportunities to young people struggling with their mental health. This includes a 6-month trainee scheme paid at London Living Wage. As part of this they get a professional but supportive work environment and the opportunity develop their creative and technical skills. This also provides a chance to gain confidence and self-esteem.
And within the criminal justice system, we run the Mental Health Media Production Unit. We work with Wandsworth Prison training prisoners on how to create films, increasing their skills and prospects. At the same time, this also provides a sense of wellbeing and support for enrolled inmates. The project is lifting the lid on wellbeing issues that people in prison face, providing film production media training and generating relevant film and digital content.
How has IJP achieved this?
Back in 2006 The Media House saw women in prison receive accredited training in media and film production. Later on, this also resulted in work placements with us in the office. We’re really proud of the Young Dads’ TV project which created a space for young fathers to connect with each other and get advice. We also ran film workshops in schools for children facing mental health issues to explore and unpack issues affecting them.
Social enterprises don’t all look the same. In the UK there are currently more than 100,000 social enterprises and they contribute £60bn to the UK economy, employing 2m people. We believe that our passion and commitment to doing the right thing and good things for people with mental health challenges. By offering this through the medium of film production, it really makes us unique as a social enterprise.