Social value agency Samtaler eyes growth after hire

A specialist social value agency has named its new director of operations, as it experiences a period of rapid growth.

Hedges is an entrepreneur and former vice-chair of Social Enterprise Scotland. Picture: ABCassidy Photography.

Samtaler has hired Zahra Hedges, an entrepreneur and former vice-chair of Social Enterprise Scotland. The Scottish-based boutique agency’s clients include energy company Vattenfall and several local authorities. It is also working with Social Value UK on its latest project, Contracts For Change, which will feed into national policy and aims to improve how social value is embedded in organisations across the UK.

Hedges will be responsible for all aspects of Samtaler’s future growth and strategic direction. She joins from social enterprise support agency Community Enterprise in Scotland, and spent the last three years as vice-chair and board member for Social Enterprise Scotland.

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She said: “To be able to join [Samtaler] at this pivotal time is a real honour. The growth over the past two years has been remarkable and shows a real desire amongst both public sector procurers and some of our large businesses to really understand and embed community benefit and social value in what they do in a meaningful, sustainable and cost-effective way.

"I’m looking forward to helping Samtaler lead the way in what I believe will be a seismic shift in how social value is delivered across the UK.” Sarah Stone, director at Samtaler, said: “While our vision is to remain a small, boutique agency, we will be using Zahra’s fresh perspective and expertise to grow our client base.”

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