Social Enterprise Mark CIC

Enabling social enterprises through independent accreditation

Our Vision

A world in which there is commitment to social enterprise as a means to achieve positive social and environmental change

Our Mission

To assure the social enterprise business model remains ethical, credible and commercial through accreditation

Our Proposition

Social Enterprise Mark CIC exists to recognise and build the capabilities of social enterprises as competitive, sustainable businesses, dedicated to maximising social impact above shareholder profit.

Our Values

Guardians of genuine social enterprise principles


Focused, considered and dependable

Innovative and creative

Read more about our values

About us

Since the launch of the Social Enterprise Mark back in 2010, we have tried to ensure the social enterprise business model remains:

  • commercial
  • credible
  • ethical

We do this through providing independent accreditation for social enterprises.

We provide a single, recognisable ‘identifier’ for genuine social enterprises, which are assessed against sector-agreed criteria before being accredited. We also work to build the capabilities of social enterprises by creating a standard of social enterprise quality, that organisations want to aspire towards and regularly be held account to, in the interests of all their stakeholders.

Social Enterprise Mark CIC is a Community Interest Company 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.

Social Enterprise Mark CIC is 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).

As Managing Directory, Lucy Findlay’s experience in the pilot project with Rise ensures the Mark is tested and responds to the needs of social enterprises:

“The criteria were tested and approved for social enterprises, by social enterprises. We are constantly reviewing and responding to the needs of social enterprises. The Mark proves you’re a credible social enterprise creating social value. It is the pathway to becoming a more effective social enterprise.

We believe it is beneficial to our economy and society to have robust social enterprise standards to protect the integrity of genuine social enterprises, and to help them stand out from the crowd.  The Social Enterprise Mark is for organisations which are committed to genuine social enterprise principles.

For many businesses, Social Enterprise Mark accreditation is just the start of the journey. Our Social Enterprise Gold Mark encourages social enterprises to strive for excellence.”

Lucy FindlayManaging Director, Social Enterprise Mark CIC

Social Enterprise Mark CIC team