Using LM3 to regenerate communities

LM3 (local multiplier 3) is a proven tool to capture socio economic benefit generated from spending and applied to definable 'local' area.

Photo of Adam Wilkinson
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

LM3 Online

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $250k - $500k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • More than 100,000

Organization type

  • For-profit

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development

Headquarters location: Country

  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Headquarters location: City


Location(s) of impact

UK:SouthWest,NorthScotland,Glasgow,London,Manchester,etc Poland: France: Greece: Australia


Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

This tool was specifically designed to provide auditable evidence of the value to the economy of the local area. Originally the intention was to use the public sector to measure public value created. However we now work mostly with very large companies often in the energy and or construction sectors. This, coupled the tool developments to a 'live' version now means that the tool could be used actively in regeneration of rural economies.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

By developing the online model and using Google maps as a locator the tool can be used anywhere in the world. We see the opportunity to couple this ability with a demonstrable partnerships with large corporates and by doing so being able to demonstrate objectively the value created in the local community. A current example is a project working with an offshore wind farm construction. The total value of the project is £2.7b. The first phase of this has just been completed £248m. The table below summarises the financial impacts it also shows that the project generated £2.33 for each £ in the case of local suppliers but only £1.13 when non local suppliers were used. Total Spending Impact: £700,495,860 Project Lm3: 1.44 Local Lm3: 2.33 Non Local Lm3: 1.13

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

The key to this approach is that the tool operates on a live basis. Because the project starts to provide management information immediately it is possible for the client to change and manage their supply chain information to maximise the benefits. We have carried out projects with all of the 26 local authorities in the NE uk. We are also working with 17 universities around Europe (and Vietnam) in an H2020 project looking at food, supply chains, and public procurement impacts. We have just finished on a high level taskforce providing the public metrics for longterm investment in social infrastructure such as housing, education, and health. The point of this is to demonstrate that we generate beneficial impact by working in collaboration and this both concentrates and maximises impacts. The tool is the catalyst/common language that enables this to happen.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Earned income 100%. We have a rapidly expanding core business with over £50b of project spend being measured by our clients. We see this as an opportunity to use this as leverage to open up much more effective mechanism to assess benefits accruing through NGO, Corporate, and governmental spend. If this can be proven then there will be no problem in making this area of work sustainable.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

We have the in-house skills to develop the tool/s, and the client list, and our personal policy rep

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

In the nineties I ran a social enterprise to regenerate a small town in the Welsh borders. Our founders were Apple, BT, The DTI, and the Rural development Commission. We started the first community owned ISP in Europe (ironically before BT offered internet). I grew increasingly frustrated with how bad the decision making process was in the Public sector. In the end I left because they managed to make yet another appalling decision. We traveled around Europe in a van for a year. While looking at the gardens in Ninfa I suddenly realised that the problem was that the local authorities had lost sight of value being to the community not to perpetuate the institution. I went to work for one to find a better way. LM3 was the outcome.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Upon recommendation from others

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of David Strelneck

We focus on stimulating Nourishment Economies in communities. Could your tool be focused on this topic? Nourishment Economies reflect enterprises which stimulate nutrient-nutrition-nourishment cycles between people and the land in various ways, ranging from nutritional farming to converting various types of nutrient-rich waste/pollution into fertilizers to restaurants using local or traditional ingredients to farming practices which also sequester and retain carbon from the atmosphere etc. All of these #NutrientValueChains can create local economic benefit, and when linked they are very powerful (for economy, health, environment, and often for local culture). Thanks for any input!