Friends and Partnerships

SMV strives to achieve a series of ambitious and wide-reaching objectives across the region, but we don’t do this alone. The many individuals and organisations who work with us year on year help to increase the positive impact of our activities. We’re enormously grateful to SMV’s ‘Friends’, a group of individuals who give a great deal of their time and expertise to support our work, and to the organisations who partner with us on specific initiatives to deliver the most benefit to the people of Greater Bristol.

“The generosity of individuals and organisations, who we refer to as our friends and partners, make the impact of our work so much more far reaching.” Caroline Duckworth, SMV Treasurer

The Friends are a group of inspiring individuals who give their time, energy and enthusiasm, as well as their skills, expertise and experience, to support SMV’s activities. They share our passion to improve educational attainment and give young people the best possible start in life; they recognise the need for quality care provision for older people, particularly those who are most vulnerable and disadvantaged; and they bolster our support for social businesses; as well as many of our other charitable activities.

If you would like to know more about how to become a Friend of SMV, please contact enquiries@merchantventurers.com

SMV works with many organisations and individuals across the Greater Bristol area to support activities that help make this a better place for everyone who lives and works here, especially those most at disadvantage. Examples of our current partnerships include:

  • The University of Bristol: we jointly sponsor eight schools through Venturers Trust. Together as sponsors we work with a diverse group of communities, helping to support young people to have the best possible educational experience that will prepare them for life as global citizens.
  • Bristol City Council: we jointly manage the Downs, a partnership that was established in 1861 under an Act of Parliament. We continue to work together to protect and manage the Clifton and Durdham Downs for the enjoyment and use of the people of Bristol and beyond.
  • Black South West Network (BSWN): a regional racial justice organisation supporting the development of dynamic, independent and strong Black and racially Minoritised communities, businesses and organisations. SMV was invited to support a new initiative aimed at widening access to business start-up support, finance and networks for businesses and social enterprises across the West of England. Seven of our members are working with a group of dynamic entrepreneurs from Bristol’s Black and Minoritised community in a mentoring role as the group develops their individual businesses over a 12-month period.
  • Bristol & Bath Regional Capital (BBRC): a community interest company that seeks to drive regional change through place-based investment, ensuring money gets to businesses and projects that are reimagining the region and beyond. The founding members of BBRC, of which SMV is one, continue to work together, supporting BBRC as it delivers positive solutions across the South West. The other founding members are the University of the West of England, the University of Bristol, Bath Spa University, Bristol City Council, Voscur, St John’s Foundation, John Pontin Trust and the Business West Initiative.

In addition to our formal partnerships, SMV and its members take an active, voluntary role in a range of activities and initiatives that benefit the Greater Bristol area.