Featured: Spice

by Stuart.Thomason

About Spice

Spice is a social enterprise that develops Time Credit systems for communities and public services that engage and empower the many rather than the few.  They engage people in the design and delivery of services by using simple time-credit applications for individuals.

Time credits are an effective and highly efficient way of valuing people for their time without the formal exchange of money. For example - an hour spent working in the community could be used to access free leisure facilities at the local gym

Social Impact

Spice addresses the social problems of community decline and civic disengagement- whether that is with pupils in schools, tenants in housing associations or isolated elderly people. Their time agency tools increase active engagement, reduce dependency and build community and individual esteem.

Relationship With the Young Foundation

The Young Foundation has worked with Spice since 2009. We initially provided hot-desk space at our Bethnal Green office. This enabled us to build up a strong informal relationship with Spice, share connections and contribute to new ways of stimulating community development.

In 2010 Dr Will Norman, (Director of research) became a Spice board member and helped them to develop a new programme alongside the ‘Future Communities’ initiative.

In 2011, The Young Foundation played a critical role in helping Spice to secure a £600K contract with the Department of Health (DoH) to deliver ‘Uplift’, a 3-year volunteering programme. Through this initiative we have worked together to create a unique and highly customised time-credit model for use in health and social care. This work has put Spice firmly on the path to growth.

Rapid Growth

In 2009 Spice had no staff in England and no financial track record. Now they have 26 staff (full time and part-time) with an expected turnover in 2012 of £1.4m. They have effectively scaled up to reach a significant new audience in several new areas and have developed a nationally transferable system of time-credits.

Their business model has also fundamentally changed from an initial consultancy offer to contracted delivery – based on tangible project outcomes. Spice are still reliant on grant income (currently at 70%) but are hopeful that contract and trading income will increase to 50% by 2015.

Spice continue to find new business with the support of the young foundation and our community partners, including housing associations and schools.


Becky Booth, Chief Executive

Spice Innovations
18 Victoria Park Square
Bethnal Green
London E2 9PF