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Joanne McNeill

This chapter explores the burgeoning practice of social procurement. To date, the uptake of social procurement has been driven largely through the public sector. Existing public sector budgets represent a significant resource pool, particularly in the prevailing context of shrinking discretional funding. At its best, social procurement is grounded in the types of ‘co’ processes (with, rather than to or for) that can contribute to improving social relations with and amongst a diverse range of actors. Through the cast of Fusion21, the chapter illustrates the potential that social procurement offers for generating and sustaining diverse economic livelihoods. Fusion21 is a social enterprise that uses a combination of direct and indirect social procurement strategies to leverage the resources of its public sector customers. The model delivers significant social value, including an autonomous funding source that is used to fully fund the delivery of a range of social programmes.