A world in which there is commitment to social enterprise as a means to achieve positive social and environmental change..
Working with representatives right across the social enterprise sector, the Social Enterprise Mark’s values were agreed as: creative, distinctive, driven, clear, inclusive. Read more about our values.
The Social Enterprise Mark Company is itself a social enterprise. The Mark Co aspires to be a Mark holder itself, and as a start-up we will be applying for it in the next 12 months.
The Social Enterprise Mark Company is a Community Interest Company (CIC) Limited by shares. A steering group made up of social enterprise leaders and supporters agreed that a Mark was important for the sector and together agreed its design, purpose and criteria. It was informed by the Social Enterprise Mark already piloted by Rise in the South West of England.
The Social Enterprise Mark Company is now owned by a single shareholder – the RISE Legacy Trust. It has been set up as a ‘guardian’ of the share and to distribute any dividends that arise in the future for the benefit of social enterprises in South West England (in recognition of their substantial investment in the development of the Mark).
In the future the Mark is likely to increase its shareholding to other Mark holders. Currently the Board is prioirtising immediate business issues, but there are plans to expand the Board to include more Mark holders as Directors in the longer term. The current Board members are: Gordon Morris – Chair and Mark holder (Age UK Enterprises), Mohammed Ali – RISE Board member/Legacy Trust, Penny Newman, Lucy Findlay – Managing Director of the Social Enterprise Mark Company.
As Managing Directory, Lucy Findlay’s experience in the pilot project with Rise ensures the Mark is tested and responds to the social enterprise movement’s needs:
“The criteria were tested and approved for the social enterprise movement, by the social enterprise movement. We are constantly reviewing and responding to the needs of social enterprises. The Mark is a pinnacle for social enterprises: we encourage you to stand up and be counted, and join the business revolution.
We believe it is beneficial to our economy and society to have a strong social enterprise movement and we believe the sector will grow in size and strength if more people – from consumers, to businesses to the government – are able to easily identify what a social enterprise is.”
Social enterprises are emerging as an ambitious business sector, and their contribution to the UK is real and growing. Recent data (Fightback Britain, Social Enterprise UK 2011) shows that 39% of all social enterprises are based and working in the most deprived communities in the UK, compared to 13% of all SMEs. A third of all social enterprise start-ups have originated in the UK’s poorest areas. Across Britain, 1 in 7 of all social enterprises is a start-up, more than three times the proportion of start-ups in mainstream small businesses (14% compared to 4%). Social enterprises are twice as likely as mainstream businesses to have reported growth in the last year and are also more likely to be led by women, young people, and those from minority ethnic groups.
The Social Enterprise Mark will not only transform the social enterprise movement, but will establish social enterprise as the business of choice for everyone.
Find out more about our partners.