Social Enterprise Mark Values
Social Enterprise Mark CIC exists to recognise and promote the capabilities of social enterprises as competitive, sustainable businesses, dedicated to maximising social impact above shareholder profit.
- Guardians of genuine social enterprise principles
We are the authority for defined, sector-agreed social enterprise criteria, providing leadership to the rest of the world. We are firm and persistent in our commitment to protecting genuine social enterprise, standing up to challenges and focused on our goal to rigorously apply the agreed criteria to distinguish genuine and credible social enterprise. We are resilient in the face of adversity and changing trends; we are unafraid to challenge the distortion of social enterprise.
Around the world, we champion the standard for social enterprise. We have been approached by countries such as Russia, Australia, France, Finland, UAE, Thailand and Jamaica, providing advice and guidance and, where appropriate, support on developing equivalent certification schemes. We have also seen increased interest from international applicants.
As an energetic team of experts in our field, we are friendly, approachable and respectful to our stakeholders. We are committed to upholding genuine social enterprise principles. We have a professional, ‘can do’ attitude, and endeavour to raise the profile of accredited social enterprises and enable them to prove their impact to their own stakeholders.
We respond to all enquiries to the best of our abilities and knowledge. Through our dedicated telephone helpline, we are welcoming and flexible, providing support and advice on achieving the Social Enterprise Mark and signposting on to others where relevant.
- Focused, consistent and dependable
We are open and transparent – you can depend on us to be honest and apply our assessment and accreditation process consistently for social enterprises that want to prove their credibility, through achieving the Social Enterprise Mark. The process is overseen by our independent Certification Panel and our Manual of Practice.
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria is consistently applied, therefore not everyone who applies for the Social Enterprise Mark is successful, but we will always give advice on required changes. Approval is not automatic; approximately 30% of organisations applying or expressing an interest in doing so are assessed as ineligible, from the point of initial enquiry, through their application and our assessment, up to the point of scrutiny by the Certification Panel. We review Mark Holders continuing eligibility on an annual basis and whenever an organisation is found to no longer be meeting our criteria, their Mark Holder status is removed.
- Innovative and Creative
The Social Enterprise Mark is original – it is the only internationally available social enterprise accreditation. We are the founders of social enterprise criteria, and we continue to evolve – to adapt to the needs of the sector. Distinctive and unique, the Social Enterprise Mark CIC is working to change society, using social enterprise as the business for positive change. This can only be done if there are a set of common principles which distinguishes genuine social enterprises. Through displaying the Social Enterprise Mark, social enterprises can stand out from the crowd, proving the positive impact they are creating.
In response to demand from Social Enterprise Mark Holders for enhanced accreditation, the Social Enterprise Gold Mark was launched at the end of 2014. The Social Enterprise Gold Mark is the only way of demonstrating social enterprise excellence. It interrogates all social enterprise aspects to establish best practice, as well as identifying areas for continual improvement.