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Social Benefit- How Birmingham can Profit from its Businesses

09-11-2019 12:53 PM CET | Media & Telecommunications

Press release from: Absolute Interpreting and Translations Ltd

Birmingham has recently seen significant economic growth as can be seen through its ceaseless contraction work. Obviously, this has been of considerable benefit to the business operating there. However, the prosperity enjoyed by the business can and has been fed back into the city, benefiting its residents; this is known as Social Benefit. This has happened naturally, through an increase in employment and therefore wealth, but also deliberately by businesses acting in a socially conscious manner. There has been an increased appreciation for socially conscious businesses that tailor their actions to the benefit of society. This has led to economists creating a concept known as “social value” which they use to quantify how corporate actions affect society.
While this economic concept is still in its earlier stages, businesses have been conscious of their effects on society for as long as they have existed and incorporated ethics into their function as a result of this. I have found and questioned the founders of one Birmingham based Translation Company, Emal Haidari and Sohaela Noor of Absolute Interpreting and Translations, about how they have had a mutually beneficial relationship with Birmingham and the other regions that they have expanded into since their business conception.

The Social Benefit of Employers- Education and Skills
Perhaps the most obvious form of social value a business can imbue into its operating region is employment. However, the extent to which providing employing to residents is socially beneficial is sometimes underestimated, as it far outlasts the duration of the employment. Once someone is employed, they are far more likely to be reemployed, especially within the first within the 6 months of redundancy. Thus, the benefit of job creations is much more than just providing a source of income to employees. The reason for this is that being in employment offers you key skills that are transferable from one profession to the next. It is due to this that the government launched an apprenticeship program to equipping young people with key skills for the workplace, reducing youth unemployment.
When asked about whether he was aware of the social value of creating a skilled population and if he’d had taken any steps to help generate a skilled workforce in Birmingham, Emal Haidari, Managing Director and Founder of Absolute Interpreting and Translations Ltd had this to say:

“As Absolute Interpreting and Translations Ltd is a professional translation agency, we require all of our employees not only to be skilled but qualified; this lead to some serious supply problems, due to the lack of bilinguals with suitable language service qualifications. To counter this, we decided to offer our CIPSI training course and then introduce them to enrol with our partner DPSI (Diploma in Public Service Interpreting) provider to applicants, making our own employees and qualifying the workforce while doing so. We’ve also been eager to make use of the government’s apprenticeship scheme and have employed apprentices within our office”- Managing Director and Founder of Absolute Interpreting and Translations

The Social Benefit of Professional Service Providers
One of the most obvious manners in which businesses are able to feedback into the regions they operate is through the services they provide. While all business can claim to be boon by as they meet the demands of the public, some sectors can be argued to be more socially beneficial than others. In particular, fields that are frequently commissioned by the public sector, such as education, law and medicine, tend to have obvious and immediate social benefits. Thus, some institutions are listed as charities and have some tax exemptions, despite operating on a for-profit basis e.g. private schools. When asked how she felt about the nature of the service Absolute Interpreting and Translations Ltd provides, Sohaela Noor, the Co-founder, had this to say.

“While Absolute Interpreting is not listed as a charity, the immediate social benefit it provides is recognised which is why language service listed as a profession. At Absolute Interpreting and Translations, this is widely known. We have worked with many charitable institutions in our time; among them were organisations which offered asylum and medical care and victims of violence and torture, among other forms of aid to vulnerable individuals. We have also offered our services pro-bono to some individuals. Thus, our linguists are very aware of and are often motivated by the nature of the work they do.”- Sohaela Noor, Co-founder of Absolute Interpreting and Translations

The Social Benefit of Community Engagement
While not all businesses can provide socially beneficial services, all businesses can be socially conscious. One manner in which any business can also contribute to society is by engaging with their local communities. There are a variety of ways they can do this. Some of the manners include:

• Contributing to social projects.
• Philanthropic donations to charities.
• Working together with local institutions such as schools.
• Hosting or sponsoring ceremonies.
• Engaging with government projects/initiatives.

This is very effective as not only does it have direct social benefits, it increases societies expectation of businesses generally, raising standards and improving ties between business and the community. While, business working with lowers profit margins may be hesitant to engage in philanthropy; engaging with government-backed initiatives, such as the apprenticeship program and engaging with schools to educate on topics relevant to their service is not only free but a source of great social benefit. When asked if Absolute Interpreting and Translations engaged with the community, Emal Haidari confirmed that they did, and enlightened me on some of the corporate befits as well as the social benefits.

“Absolute Interpreting and translations is aware of the social benefit gained from community engagement and has actively engaged with Birmingham as well as other areas throughout the UK in which we operate. Some of our notable engagements include our donation to children in need, the lecture I personally delivered at Aston University, our sponsorship of Black Country Partnerships award ceremony and our contribution to child protection UK’s drug awareness campaign. While these things certainly lead to social benefit, it’s also helpful to the business, as it means our linguists are happier to work for us and we are able to recruit more of them, also our clients are often charitable institutions, thus they appreciate ethical practice”- Managing Director and Founder of Absolute Interpreting and Translations

The Social Benefit of trade networks
Finally, through their operation business can make a city better connected to other regions through trade ties. Increased connectivity has been central to Birmingham's economic growth. The initiation of HS2 and the relocation of HSBC have both contributed significantly to Birmingham’s increased connectivity. Those said, even smaller businesses that operate locally may well have suppliers in other regions; through their operation, they bring their region to the attention of other regions increasing connectivity. This has great social benefit as being better-connected increases opportunity within the region through external interest and investment. When asked if she felt Absolute Interpreting and Translations had contributed to Birmingham’s connectivity she replied positively, stating that:

“As a Language service provider, Absolute Interpreting and Translations is naturally global and interconnected, while our face to face interpreters are all based in the UK we recruit translators globally and provide translations to clients across the world. Aside from this, we also support students doing their degrees or masters in translation and looking for translation internship programs in the UK from outside the UK, bringing attention to the UK as an international nation, thus I certainly feel we contribute to Birmingham’s image as an increasingly open and international city.” - Sohaela Noor, Co-founder of Absolute Interpreting and Translations

Summary- Social Benefit
It is clear that while businesses will naturally create social benefits through their operation, much more can be gained by society and business alike, and should business act in a socially conscious manner and deliberately engage with their stakeholders. Clearly, this is becoming a more widely accepted philosophy among firms, as can be seen from the manner in which Absolute Interpreting and Translations operates. Should individuals reciprocate good practice with approval then we will doubtlessly see this trend

46 Hylton Street
Jewellery Quarter
West Midlands
United Kingdom
B18 6HN
Habeb Nabi

Absolute Interpreting and Translations Ltd is a professional language service provider based in the UK operating globally with offices in North America Aisa and Europe. We provide Interpreting and Translations services, among others to a host of clients from various sectors, facilitating smooth international products launches, communication services, etc

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