Entries by Sophie Short

Challenging perceptions to close the disability employment gap

Friday 28th June was the fourth UK Employability Day; a day for employers and employment support organisations to celebrate their hard work supporting people to enter or progress in employment. The theme this year was ‘Closing the Gaps’; with the disability employment gap – the difference in the rate of employment of disabled and non-disabled […]

Charity Bank takes to the road with free regional events

This September and October, Charity Bank is partnering with NCVO and other sector leaders to deliver a series of regional half day seminars. Complimentary tickets are available for trustees, directors, CEOs and managers of charities, social enterprises and community organisations. Hear the latest analysis on the state of the sector and on the issues that […]

20 years of business where community profits!

Millfields Trust chose the best day of the year, the Summer Solstice, to celebrate their 20th Anniversary. With guests including Board Members and tenants past and present, stakeholders and friends of the Trust in attendance, they were treated to an evening of fine food and great entertainment, all hosted by the Stonehouse Barracks in Plymouth. […]

Providing a pathway to social enterprise excellence

We are excited to introduce a new addition to our social enterprise accreditation portfolio. The Aspiring Social Enterprise accreditation will support new and aspiring social enterprises to get started on the pathway to good practice and excellence. Through this entry-level accreditation, aspiring social enterprises can access tailored support to achieve sector-agreed standards of good practice […]

Boost for Charity Bank with £5million deposit from Power to Change

Charity Bank has announced a £5 million deposit injection from the independent charitable trust Power to Change. With seven in ten people agreeing that charities should invest their savings and investments ethically, Charity Bank is calling on other organisations to align their money and mission.1 The deposit will increase Charity Bank’s lending capabilities, improving access […]

Social Enterprise Mark CIC breaks new ground with USA franchise

We are excited to announce we have signed a new franchise agreement to take our unique Social Enterprise Mark accreditation to the USA. The agreement grants an exclusive licence to Society Profits for awarding the Social Enterprise Mark in the USA. The francise will enable social enterprises within the USA to gain international recognition that […]

Luke Joy-Smith joins Social Enterprise Mark CIC Board

We are pleased to welcome Luke Joy-Smith to our Board of Directors. Luke has worked within the Learning Disabilities field for over 25 years, both within the NHS and the Voluntary Sector. He is currently Managing Director of Discovery, a Social Enterprise Mark holder, which supports adults with learning disabilities and/or autism across Somerset. Luke […]

FamilyCarersNet named 2019 Making a Mark winners

FamilyCarersNet, a social enterprise providing vital support for unpaid carers, was announced as the winner of our 2019 Making a Mark competition at a special celebration at our conference in Birmingham earlier this week. Besma Whayeb, a Year of Green Action Ambassador, presented the award to Andy Lewis of FamilyCarersNet during our annual awards reception. […]

University of Winchester recognised by National Union of Students

The University of Winchester has been awarded the National Union of Students’ (NUS) Responsible Futures accreditation for its commitment to embedding sustainability and social responsibility in its teaching and other activities. The award recognises the partnership between the University and Winchester Student Union to promote education for sustainable development, helping students at Winchester to understand […]

PELC continues to improve CQC rating across its services

The Partnership of East London Co-operatives (PELC) has had its Out of Hours services rated as ‘good’ across the board by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). This builds on its exceptional 6-month turn-around of the Emergency Urgent Care Centre (EUCC) at the King George Hospital, Ilford. PELC’s Out of Hours care operates from a number […]

How helpful video content can boost your online traffic

By Alexandra Lens, Digital Marketing Officer at Chocolate Films YouTube is not only the most popular video hosting platform in the world, it is also the second largest search engine. Are you surprised? Then have a think: what was the last time you turned to video to learn something? If you recently looked up how […]

Partnership with Social Value UK

We are proud to announce a new partnership with Social Value UK, the national network for social impact and social value. Our mutual aim is to create a ‘coalition’ with a focus on furthering the practice of social accounting and accreditation as tools for reporting on social, environmental and economic performance. This alliance hopes to raise the […]

IC24 publishes first social impact report

Integrated Care 24 (IC24) has recently published it’s first ever social impact report, which is designed to showcase the breadth of contribution that the organisation makes to the healthcare economy, wider society and the people it serves. IC24 provides urgent unscheduled primary care services across the south and east of England, and as a social […]

Celebrating the impact of accredited social enterprises

Our Making a Mark competition is back for another year! This annual competition for Social Enterprise Mark/Gold Mark holders celebrates and promotes the vast impact that accredited social enterprises make through their diverse activities, illustrating how social enterprises are creating considerable impact within their local communities and in wider society. This year, we invited Mark […]

How workforce engagement is delivering financial efficiencies

By Brian Jones, Chief Executive of Partnership of East London Co-operatives As a Social Enterprise delivering healthcare services, we are committed to the principles upon which we were founded, however, it is equally important to recognise that the organisation has to be financial sustainable to meet future demand. I became CEO of the organisation at […]

PELC improves CQC rating in outstanding 6 month turnaround

Following a full inspection of the Emergency Urgent Care Centre (EUCC) at the King George Hospital in Ilford, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has, in an exceptional move, upgraded its rating across all its services up by two positions, just six months after being placed into ‘special measures’. The EUCC is run by the Partnership […]

New standard launched to recognise exemplar employers of disabled people

Social Enterprise Mark CIC is proud to launch a new standard for Supported Businesses and social enterprises that support disabled people to find and maintain meaningful employment. The Social Enterprise Disabilty Employment Mark (SEDEM) has been designed specifically for businesses whose primary objective is the employment of disabled people. It aims to provide assurance for commissioners/funding bodies […]

Social Enterprise Mark CIC 2019 Stakeholder Survey Report

Earlier this year, we conducted a comprehensive survey of our Mark Holders and other key stakeholders, to help shape the future direction of Social Enterprise Mark CIC and our growing portfolio of accreditation services. Many thanks to all those who took the time to participate in the survey. We have now analysed the responses and are […]

From Russia (Siberia) with love

What an amazing experience. My recent trip to Siberia, for the second leg of the Euclid Network PeerEx exchange, far surpassed expectations and well and truly dispelled the myths – there were no gulags and it wasn’t -40 degrees! In fact it was spring so only just below freezing most of the time. I arrived […]

Winchester listed in top universities for environmental and social impact

The University of Winchester’s pioneering work in sustainability and social responsibility has earned the institution a place in the top 100 of the first-ever global University Impact Rankings put together by Times Higher Education. The new ranking recognises universities across the world for their social and economic impact on society, based on their success in delivering the United […]

2019 NatWest SE100 index and Social Business Awards

Nearly 300 people gathered in central London this week to hear who had won the top spots in this year’s NatWest SE100 Social Business Awards. Seven awards were made to social enterprises working in many different parts of the UK, from Cornwall to Scotland.  The winners were: Growth – Creating Enterprise Impact – ECT Charity […]

You need never walk alone

In the final of a short series of blog posts on sustainable leadership and team-work in social enterprise, leadership coach and social entrepreneur Tim Segaller explains why strong working relationships can make all the difference So far in this blog series, I’ve explored two foundations for long-term success in social enterprise. Firstly, authentic vision and leadership: […]

Goodbye Europe, Hello Londoners

1000 Londoners, a Chocolate Films project, has had the first two screenings of its brand new series of Movie Nights ‘Goodbye Europe’, an anthology of new short films featuring Londoners from the 28 nations of the EU. These micro-documentaries tell the unique tales of people living across the capital, from all different backgrounds and walks of […]

Working with the grain of your brain: mental resilience for social enterprises

In the second of a short series of blog posts on sustainable leadership and team-work in social enterprise, leadership coach and social entrepreneur Tim Segaller explores the importance of mental resilience for social enterprises My first blog set out the challenge of sustaining energy, creativity and inspiration in the face of complex challenges. I introduced three key […]

L&Q sets out disability inclusion commitment

Leading housing association and developer L&Q has partnered with two leading not-for-profit organisations to ensure it is offering the best service to its disabled staff and residents. As part of their disability inclusion initiative, L&Q will work with Evenbreak, a not-for-profit social enterprise that helps inclusive employers attract and retain more talented disabled people. L&Q […]

A marathon not a sprint: long-term success for social enterprises

In the first of a short series of blog posts, leadership coach and social entrepreneur Tim Segaller explores how social enterprises can sustain energy, creativity and inspiration for the long haul The passion, determination and creativity of social entrepreneurs are qualities to be celebrated. They are driving the growth of the sector, and broader social […]

Enhancing the contribution HE makes to the economy and society

By Professor Karen Stanton, Vice Chancellor of York St John University In higher education (HE), we are certainly fond of the old acronym! I’m not sure how many people outside the sector will have heard of the TEF, REF and KEF. These refer to the Teaching Excellence Framework, the Research Excellence Framework and the Knowledge […]

Looking outwards – Sri Lanka and beyond…

In January I was lucky to be invited to Sri Lanka by Lanka Social Ventures, to address the 2nd International Conference on Social Enterprise and Social Finance. It was an amazing and unforgettable experience in so many unexpected ways. The conference itself attracted very high profile speakers, such as the Governor of the Bank of […]

Michael Gove welcomes ambassadors for Year of Green Action

Environment Secretary Michael Gove MP has welcomed a group of Ambassadors, who have pledged to champion and promote the Year of Green Action; a year-long drive to help everyone get involved in projects that support nature. The Ambassadors include UN Patron of the Oceans and endurance swimmer Lewis Pugh, environmentalist David de Rothschild, TV presenter Jan […]

Nominations open for UK Social Entrepreneur Index

Social Enterprise Mark CIC is pleased to be supporting the UK Social Entrepreneur Index , a BQ campaign sponsored by UBS, designed to celebrate those entrepreneurs doing things a little differently to make our world a better place. The UK Social Entrepreneur Index is a celebration of entrepreneurs running businesses with social purposes, with the aim […]

NUS seeking partner organisations to offer summer placements

Do you want to be part of a new and exciting pilot programme? Be part of the National Union of Students’ new programme – Placements for Good – and work with university level students and increase capacity to progress sustainability. The NUS is currently seeking organisations and businesses who want to empower students from all […]

What to include in your Social Impact Report

By Kat Luckock, Founder of Share Impact So, you’re starting to think about developing your Social Impact Report and what you might need to include in it. Like all documents or materials you produce for external consumption it’s important to think about who your audience for this report is – what will they be interested in […]

Finalists announced for Devon & Cornwall 2019 Venus Awards

At a splendid cream tea hosted at Pentillie Castle on 8th February, more than 100 guests from the local business community gathered to celebrate the Devon & Cornwall 2019 Venus Awards finalists, who will be progressing to the next stage of these prestigious business awards. Although in the 6th year, the number of applications continues […]

Goodbye Europe; 1000 Londoners Movie Nights

In the days that the UK leaves the EU, 1000 Londoners (a Chocolate Films project) invites the people of London to join ‘Goodbye Europe’ – a unique film screening created specifically for this historic moment in the capital. ‘Goodbye Europe’ is an anthology of new short films about the London lives of people from each […]

Share your #SocEntStory to enter our Making a Mark competition

Over the last few years, we have held an annual ‘Making a Mark’ competition for Social Enterprise Mark/Gold Mark Holders, to help promote and celebrate the social impact they have. In previous years, this has focused on the social impact evidence that Mark Holders are now required to complete as part of their regular assessment […]

Help us ensure our services meet the needs of the sector

As we enter our tenth year of providing clear and credible standards for the social enterprise sector, we are conducting a comprehensive stakeholder survey, to ensure our services address the evolving needs of the growing sector. As a customer-focused organisation, we greatly value the input of our accredited social enterprises, partners, and other stakeholders, to […]

Social Enterprise Gold Mark review update

During last year we completed a public consultation to inform the development of the Social Enterprise Gold Mark, which also served as an opportunity to reflect upon the core Social Enterprise Mark accreditation, criteria and assessment process. Since then, we have redeveloped the Gold Mark Framework and assessment process to take account of the major […]

New quality marks for Supported Businesses

Over the last year, we have been working with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Supported Business Steering Group to develop two new quality marks for businesses that provide extra employment support for disabled people with the greatest barriers to work. The Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark (SEDEM) is an accreditation designed especially […]

Opening up public sector procurement to social enterprises

Get your organisation put forward for inclusion on quotation and tender shortlists by UK Public Sector buyers. Bloom Procurement Services has a different approach to professional services procurement; they specialise in bringing together a community of buyers and suppliers to help the public sector buy professional services better. They are transforming procurement by opening up the […]

Vacancies – Board members

We are currently seeking new board members to help move the business forward and support the introduction of new services and growth in new markets. The commercially focused board meetings are currently held in Plymouth every 3 months; whilst there is no financial remuneration for the role, expenses can be reimbursed if necessary. It is […]

Unlock your potential with Roots HR coaching package

Challenging work goals for 2019? But not sure where to start? Do you know what success looks like? But unsure how to achieve it? Personal changes to make in 2019?  But too many options and no time? Take time to think about 1-1 coaching for you, your whole team or individual team members, to get your […]

Rising to the challenge with social enterprise

As we begin a new year, I am sure I am not alone in reflecting on 2018 and looking ahead to what 2019 may bring. With continued political, economic and social turbulence, there is surely much uncertainty ahead for the social enterprise sector (as well as the wider world), what with the international rise of […]

In a year of uncertainty,
it’s time for clarity

As we start a new year, there are undoubtedly both challenges and opportunities ahead for social enterprises. Whatever the next 12 months brings for the UK economy, it is likely to be influenced by factors beyond your control. What you can control is how you respond. In an atmosphere of confusion and doubt, the ability to […]

Lucy Findlay awarded MBE for services to social enterprise

We are delighted to announce that our Managing Director Lucy Findlay has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours list for ‘services to social enterprise’. Lucy founded Social Enterprise Mark CIC in 2010 and over the last ten years has developed the Social Enterprise Mark from a regional funded project to an internationally available accreditation, […]

Merry Christmas from Social Enterprise Mark CIC

Here we are again, fast approaching the end of another year… before everyone logs off, we wanted to take the opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Please note that our office will be closed for the Christmas break from lunchtime on Friday 21st December until 08:30am on Wednesday 2nd January. We […]

IC24 donates sanitary items to those in need in Ashford

Staff at Integrated Care 24 (IC24)’s head office have got in the festive spirit this year, by donating hundreds of sanitary items to The Hygiene Bank charity. For the last two months, staff at the integrated urgent care provider, which provides the NHS 111 and out of hours GP led service in East Kent, have […]

Paying workers in your social enterprise

By Shaziya Somji, Managing Director of Harris Accountancy This is the third in a series of posts Shaziya is writing for our guest blog. Once an organisation decides to pay individuals, it will need to consider setting up payroll in order to pay the correct income tax, national and pension contributions. To set up payroll, the organisation […]

Investment relief available for social enterprises

By Shaziya Somji, Managing Director of Harris Accountancy This is the second in a series of posts Shaziya is writing for our guest blog. An organisation can look for loans and investments that would entitle the investor to a tax relief, provided it meets the conditions of that particular scheme. The organisation can check with HMRC prior […]

Evenbreak wins UnLtd award for driving social change

Evenbreak, a pioneer in disability specific recruitment, has secured support from UnLtd, the UK’s foundation for social entrepreneurs. The funding and tailored support package will help the organisation continue to drive lasting social change at a time when the UK is beginning to wake up to the value of the purple pound. Evenbreak is a […]

We are supporting the
MadeAtUni campaign

We are proud to accredit a number of UK universities as social enterprises, which are committed to enhancing the social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of their communities, society and the world around them. We recognise the important contribution that universities can make to people, lives and communities across the UK, and therefore welcome the launch […]

New fee structure for Social Enterprise Gold Mark

In response to feedback from our network of accredited social enterprises, we have reviewed the fee structure for the Social Enterprise Gold Mark, with a view to reducing potential barriers to Social Enterprise Mark holders (and new applicants) in achieving this standard of social enterprise excellence. Through consultation with our Mark holders, we are aware […]

Taxes explained for social enterprises

By Shaziya Somji, Managing Director of Harris Accountancy This is the first in a series of posts Shaziya is writing for our guest blog. It is a common misconception that Social Enterprises are exempt from tax. For HMRC, social enterprises are treated the same as limited companies for tax purposes. On a positive note, there are […]

Delivering regional growth through social enterprise

I was recently asked to be part of a panel session at the GuildHE conference, which looked at how universities (and other institutions) can deliver regional social and economic growth. For me, behind the fundamental issue of delivering social and economic growth, is the question ‘for whom and why’? Given that the world’s richest 1% […]

John Lewis & Partners to sell
The Soap Co. products

In a major achievement for CLARITY-The Soap Co., the social enterprise announces that in time for the busy Christmas period, high-end department store, John Lewis & Partners, is to sell its luxury, ethical, eco and bee friendly collection across various of its stores nationwide. Camilla Marcus-Dew, Co-Founder of The Soap Co. said: “The fact that […]

Thinking bigger… ten years on (part 2)

This is a follow-up to my previous blog from September 2018 Last month I shared my reflections from the Social Enterprise World Forum, which I had recently attended, ten years after attending the inaugural event. This prompted me to think about how much has changed in the social enterprise sector since then, which led me […]

It’s Living Wage Week 2018

As an accredited Living Wage Employer, we are proud to support Living Wage Week (5th – 11th November), a UK-wide celebration of the campaign for a real Living Wage that meets the cost of living and the network of Living Wage employers. The UK Living Wage rate has increased by 25p to £9, with the London Living […]

Why social enterprise?

By Kat Luckock, Founder of Share Impact This is the third in a series of posts Kat has written for our guest blog. Why does social enterprise matter? What does it really offer us as an alternative to existing business practices? I am super passionate about social entrepreneurship – you could say evangelical. However, I know there […]

Common Room creative workshops in Salford

START is excited to announce our new Common Room creative workshops, open to everyone. The Common Room is a programme of public workshops at The Make Space, START’s studio in Walkden. The workshops are all taught by professional artists and offer a friendly place to learn new skills and meet others. Sessions include: Woven Wall Hanging : 3rd November […]

Brexit – Millions are ready for an opportunity…

By Steve Hawkins, CEO of Pluss The UK is due to leave the EU in six months. There are many questions still unresolved, but one thing is clear. Whatever decisions are made between now and next March, UK employers will face a struggle after Brexit to find low skilled workers to keep their businesses moving. […]

Leading the way as a Social Enterprise Ambassador

By Julie Hawker, Joint CEO of Cosmic Cosmic was Social Enterprise Mark holder number one. Although that position was very closely contested by the Co-operative Group South West! In those days, I was heavily involved as Chair of RISE – the regional body supporting social enterprise developments in the South West – and therefore was […]

1000 Londoners presents:
Windrush Generations

In a brand new series of 15 short films, the multi award-winning documentary series 1000 Londoners , the flagship project of Chocolate Films, discovers the lives of 4 generations of Londoners with Caribbean heritage. Each of the films portrays the experiences of a single Londoner, including: Dame Jocelyn Barrow, knighted for her achievements in race-relations, who recalls […]

Campaign to make Bristol first Dementia Friendly City

Bristol based social enterprise BS3 Community Development has started an ambitious campaign to make Bristol the first Dementia Friendly City in the UK. Friday 21st September is World Alzheimer’s Day and BS3 Community has been working with Bristol Dementia Alliance to support local retailers in the city to understand dementia and how it effects people […]

#FollowTheMoney – move your savings to an ethical provider

Leading ethical bank, Charity Bank, has launched a campaign to encourage charities, businesses and individuals to move some of their savings or reserves to an ethical provider. The Follow the Money campaign is supported by social sector heavyweights including NCVO, NAVCA, Social Enterprise Mark CIC, Social Enterprise UK, Locality, Responsible Finance, Big Society Capital, Barrow […]

Mini Marathon Trials bring together talented young runners

At the Mini Marathon Trials, organised by Epic CIC, young people will compete to represent the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea at the 2019 London Youth Games and London Mini Marathon. Mini Marathon is a trials event for young people aged between 10 and 17 in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. This […]

The risk of not focusing on profit in your social enterprise

By Kat Luckock, Founder of Share Impact This is the second in a series of posts Kat has written specially for our guest blog. It’s true that balancing social and environmental priorities with commercial and financial requirements of a social enterprise is a challenge we all face as social entrepreneurs. However, what I’ve noticed, and increasingly […]

Unbelievable recruitment offers from Roots HR

Roots HR CIC has launched its best ever recruitment offers, available for September only. £100 off your recruitment campaigns Up to £100 off recruitment and selection training Recruitment toolkit for only £98 The above offers are available on all orders placed by 5pm on Friday 28th September 2018. Roots HR offers a full range of recruitment, […]

Save time and money using digital technology for your social enterprise

By Kat Luckock, Founder of Share Impact I like to think of social entrepreneurs as innovative ground-breaking, revolutionary AND tech savvy. The type of people who want to create change and are at the fore-front of the technology landscape – maximising the best tools to advance their business and deliver phenomenal impact. Although there are […]

Blurring the lines? Responding to the Civil Society Strategy

The new Civil Society Strategy explicitly sets the direction of government, by widening the strategy of the traditional third sector to include the private sector agenda. It has been going in this direction for years of course – the advent of Big Society Capital, Social Investment, Social Impact Bonds have often been more concerned with […]

Going ‘Beyond the Badge’
in the fashion industry

By Flora Davidson, Co-Founder of Supply Compass Some certification badges are instantly recognisable as a mark of assurance when purchasing a product. According to the Fairtrade Foundation, 97% of Millennials recognise the Fairtrade Mark on food, compared with 69% for the Rainforest Alliance logo and 41% for the Soil Association Organic label.  But how many […]

Developing a quality assurance mark for Department for Work and Pensions

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, has today announced increased funding and other measures to support businesses that provide extra employment support for disabled people with the greatest barriers to work. When the Work Choice employment programme ends in March 2019, ongoing support will be offered to individuals working in “supported businesses” […]

Funded courses for social enterprises in Devon and Somerset

The School for Social Entrepreneurs Dartington is delighted to announce that applications are now open for two innovative new courses for social entrepreneurs in Devon and Somerset. The courses are fully funded and provide a fantastic opportunity for social enterprises, charities, community businesses and third sector organisations that are looking to start or develop in […]

Standing still? It’s not an option

For businesses to grow, there is not an option to stand still. Of course, this is also true in the Social Enterprise world. The social mission may remain the same, but the strategy and tactics to reach the goal must change and evolve over time to reflect the customer’s needs, changing markets and the dynamism […]

Cardiff Metropolitan University showcased in HEFCW report

Cardiff Metropolitan University, which was the first university in Wales to be awarded the Social Enterprise Mark, features in a recent report published by HEFCW (Higher Education Funding Council for Wales). The Innovation Nation: on common ground report showcases how higher education providers in Wales have been pursuing their civic mission in recent years, and […]

Community owned change – we need to talk about anarchism

By Ed Whitelaw, Head of Enterprise & Regeneration at Real Ideas Organisation We need to talk about anarchism. Once you get past the often mis-leading, negative, bomb-chucking stereotypes of the proceeding centuries, many of the ideas contained within the, by definition, very broad church of anarchist thought are quite sensible. Indeed, in many cases emphasizing balance […]

Social Enterprise Gold Mark Review 2018

Many thanks to Social Enterprise Mark/Gold Mark holders and other partners and stakeholders who took the time to participate in our recent stakeholder consultation as part of a review of the Social Enterprise Gold Mark. This also provided an opportunity to reflect upon the main Social Enterprise Mark and influence the general direction of our social […]

Harness the power of your brand

By Jonathan Alder, founder and Co-Director of Alder and Alder Your brand is a powerful communication tool that has the potential to differentiate you from competitors, and make you interesting and relevant to your audience. If you can harness the power of your brand it will give you the opportunity to influence what people think […]

BECỌ – good, clean, fun

A brand new hand-care range that puts real change in people’s hands How to Share With Just Friends How to share with just friends. Posted by Facebook on Friday, December 5, 2014 Social enterprise CLARITY has announced the launch of BECỌ, a sister brand to The Soap Cọ. There has never been more demand for products […]

FREE Design Thinking workshop in Bristol

Want to find out more about how Design Thinking can benefit your organisation? Come to our FREE workshop in Bristol to gain a hands-on introduction to Design Thinking for Sustainable Social Enterprises and how it can help you to drive customer centric service innovation and growth within your organisation. The workshop is suitable for social entrepreneurs, […]

Dose of Digital workshops for social enterprises

Cosmic is running a number of free half-day workshops across the South West to  help social and community enterprises make the most of their digital marketing A Dose of Digital is a bitesize workshop series, each one 3 hours long, exploring a particular issue around digital skills and digital strategy.  And they are free to […]

An inequality crisis – how do we spread the wealth?

The audience at our recent annual conference were universally shocked to hear from our keynote speaker Erinch Sahan (of the World Fair Trade Organization), that just 8 wealthy individuals now own the same wealth as the world’s poorest 3.6 billion people. In 2010, 388 billionaires owned as much as the poorest half of the world’s […]

University of Winchester contributes £266m economic value

The University of Winchester contributes over £266 million a year to the regional business community, according to a new report launched this week. The Economic Value of the University of Winchester shows that more than £203 million a year added income is created by its alumni – the impact of the skills acquired by students remaining […]

Social enterprise and gender equality

By Heidi Fisher, Director of Make an Impact CIC OK folks, let’s start off with something we could all benefit from doing a little more of – something I call ‘Positive Propositioning’… Take the name of this blog: Gender ‘Equality’. Not ‘Inequality’. That’s simply because I’m of the mindset that if you focus on the positive […]

Annual conference – short survey

We are now already thinking ahead to next year’s conference and welcome your input to help us make it even better than this year. In particular, we would like to know what time of year and location would work best for you, and any potential barriers to your attendance at the conference. Please help us […]

Join Global Action Plan for Clean Air Day webinar

How to influence your senior management in addressing air quality Join Global Action Plan on Clean Air Day 2018 (21st June) for a lunchtime webinar (12.30-1.30pm) that will focus on practical ways to successfully encourage your leadership teams to address air quality as an issue and to lend their support to staff engagement activities. You […]

Charity Bank Impact Awards

Social Enterprise Mark holders are invited to attend Charity Bank’s Impact Awards in London (N7 6PA) on Tuesday 26th June 2018. This is an opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary work of social enterprises and the social sector. The reception will run from 6.00pm to 8.00pm, with awards at 7.00pm. There will be drinks and canapés. […]

Charity Bank appoints new chief executive

Charity Bank has appointed Edward Siegel as its new Chief Executive. He replaces Patrick Crawford, who will retire and step down as Chief Executive after almost six years. Ed, who will take up his post with the bank at the end of July, joins from Big Issue Invest (BII), the social investment arm of The […]

Chocolate Films Director receives Honorary Doctorate

Chocolate Films Director Rachel Wang recently received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Law as part of a Graduation Ceremony held for more than 900 students at the Barbican Centre in London. Rachel accepted her Honorary Doctorate from Dame Fiona Woolf, Chancellor of The University of Law, alongside world-leading solicitor James Libson. Also present […]

Developing a new framework for supported businesses

We are currently working with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Supported Business Steering Group to develop a new framework to enable supported businesses to prove their credentials when bidding for DWP programmes. The Social Enterprise Disability Employment Mark (SEDEM) will build on the principles of Disability Confident, to provide assurance to DWP […]

Charity Bank launches ‘Bank On Us’ campaign

Charity Bank, the loan and savings bank owned by charities and social purpose organisations, today announced it has lent over £15.2 million to the social sector in the first three months of 2018; more than any previous quarter in its history. Its loan book has now grown by over 120% since the start of 2015. […]

Vote for your winner in Making a Mark competition

The Making a Mark competition is back for a third year! This annual competition celebrates the vast impact that accredited social enterprises make through their diverse activities, highlighting examples of how accredited social enterprises are creating considerable social impact within their local communities and in wider society and the environment. We are delighted to announce the below finalists, […]

All-Female Film for International Women’s Day

To mark International Women’s Day earlier this month, 1000 Londoners (a project of Chocolate Films) released a women-only produced film. Twelve girls and women with no previous experience in filmmaking, guided by two professional female filmmakers, created a three-minute documentary about BAFTA Award-winning producer-director and activist, Yvette Vanson on a Chocolate Films Workshop, produced by Rachel Wang and […]

Leading the way or minding the gap?

International Women’s Day was on 8th March.  Reading my social media feed that day, it seemed to have much more prominence than in previous years. I think it was probably a combination of factors, including the many shocking stories in the press such as the #metoo campaign, the gender pay gap figures that show there […]

New #SocEntHour Twitter chat to connect social enterprises

We are excited to be launching a new Twitter chat in April, to provide an open platform for social enterprises to connect with each other. During our many years of providing accreditation for the social enterprise sector, we have learnt that one of the things our network values most is opportunities for networking and joint […]

Alternative models of business – time for a change?

Last weekend the Labour Party held a conference, where it launched a report highlighting Alternative Ownership Models. It criticised the prevailing model of public service delivery and highlighted some of the failures of the corporate sector.  It also challenged the old idea that renationalisation means bringing services back inside the public sector itself. I too […]

Social Enterprises needed for The Big Issue Shop

The Big Issue has launched a new online shop, to provide a retail platform for organisations that create social impact through the products they sell. The organisation, famed for its magazine with the hand up not a hand out ideal, is selling products with a ‘social echo’. It focuses on brands that are produced by social […]

Free salary review from Roots HR CIC

Make sure that you are paying your staff an appropriate salary by taking advantage of Roots HR’s offer of free salary benchmarking. Receive free salary benchmarking for 1 role when you have 4 roles benchmarked, saving £175; Roots HR CIC’s best ever salary benchmarking offer! Salary benchmarking is a way to determine the market value […]

Help Hope Enterprises to reduce food poverty in Northampton

Hope Enterprises CIC has launched a Crowdfunding appeal to raise money for its innovative new Food Club project. This project is a food club, not a foodbank; it’s based on membership, a bit like a food co-operative. People on low incomes will be able to join the food club and through membership can  get access to subsidised […]

Another year older, another year wiser?

As we celebrate the 8th anniversary of the launch of the Social Enterprise Mark, I am proud of our progress, and how we have remained true to our original aim of identifying and certifying genuine social enterprises, and more latterly emphasising the upholding of standards to support this aim. Since 2010, Social Enterprise Mark CIC […]

Devon and Cornwall Venus Awards Semi-Finalists Announcement

Alexis Bowater, Regional Partner of the Devon and Cornwall Venus Awards 2018 was host to over 100 people at the Treasury in Plymouth earlier this week, welcoming guests that included nominees and sponsors from all corners of the counties, and where the names of those progressing to the semi-final stage were announced. The Venus Awards […]

Introducing Social Lab

In 2018 Business Launchpad will be running a new series of events, which will showcase social enterprises across a number of industries. Social Lab is a great way to learn from experienced entrepreneurs, meet peers, potential partners, mentors, supporters, and have fun! The first event will be held on 24th January at the Museum of Happiness, […]

Research report: design thinking for sustainable social enterprises

Innovative and high-impact solutions for social problems The first phase of the Social UP project has been completed, and a research report is now available, which analyses the needs and challenges of social enterprises, presents relevant methods and tools of Design Thinking (DT) for increasing social impact, and considers ways to enhance creative problem-solving and innovation […]

A new year’s resolution that you can stick to

I am sure many of you have recently set new resolutions for the year ahead, be they personal goals (e.g. eating healthier or exercising more) or a commitment to make changes on a wider scale (e.g. using less plastic, getting involved in volunteering). However, how many of us actually stick to our resolutions for the […]

CLARITY-The Soap Co. wins PwC Building Public Trust Award

  CLARITY-The Soap Co. was named winner of the Environmental Impact Category in the PwC Social Entrepreneurs Club Awards, which were announced at the annual PwC Building Public Trust Awards lunch on 30th November. These awards recognise PwC Social Entrepreneurs Club members who are implementing innovative and impactful solutions to society’s challenges. The winner is selected by a […]

Profiteering from the NHS – have we reached a new low?

Back in 2014, I predicted that we would, in the future, question the values that are used to make public spending decisions.  However, we now seem to have reached a new low. Following an unsuccessful bid for a children’s services contract in Surrey, Virgin Care had threatened legal action.  This has resulted in hundreds of […]

Chocolate Films release Kew animation Love Bug

This summer Chocolate Films Workshops were in residence at the Royal Botanics Gardens Kew, to produce an animation about pollination and pollinators called Love Bug. The film broke the record for the most individual contributions to an animation film, with 2,753 participants all taking part in most aspects of making the Love Bug film, whether […]

Create #ElflessActs this Christmas

Every year 1 in 4 parents go into debt at Christmas trying to buy the perfect presents. Crazily, only 1% of the materials that go into making the stuff we buy are actually still in use 6 months on – that’s a lot of waste stress, resources and money. This year, Global Action Plan is […]

Chocolate Films’ Rachel Wang wins UK Social Enterprise Award

Rachel Wang, the Founder and Director of South London social enterprise Chocolate Films, has won the Women in Social Enterprise Award at the UK Social Enterprise Awards 2017, which were held on 23rd November at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London. The national awards, organised by Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) recognise excellence and outstanding achievements […]

1000 Londoners Youth Takeover

London’s largest documentary web series 1000 Londoners is handing the reins to young people in the capital for the next 5 months, during which it will release short films made by young filmmakers, aged 11 to 19 as part of this year’s 1000 Londoners ‘Youth Takeover’. All the films have been created by first time […]

Mosaic and tile-making classes

Art4Space is continuing their popular mosaic and tile making classes in Stockwell, London on Tuesday evenings in January. You decide what you want to create… for example – mosaic mirrors, panels, frames or table tops, it is up to you! The classes are run by artists with over 18-years experience who have a real passion […]

It’s Living Wage Week

As an accredited Living Wage Employer, we are proud to support Living Wage Week (5th – 11th November), a UK-wide celebration of the campaign for a real Living Wage that meets the cost of living and the network of Living Wage employers. We welcome the increase in UK and London rates announced by the Living Wage Foundation […]

Investors in People join Beyond the Badge campaign

We are delighted to welcome Investors in People as a partner in the Beyond the Badge campaign, which aims to make it easier for consumers to identify businesses that are proven to be doing good. Investors in People (IIP) is the Standard for people management. The IIP framework sets out how to lead, support and […]

Intergenerational friendship between the elderly and nursery children

Every Friday a group of excited pre-school children from Bristol don their hi-vis waistcoats ready to take their walking bus down to see their friends at the Amerind Grove residential home for older people. Last month, children from the Southville Centre nursery featured on the Channel 4 programme The Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds. Emma Morris, […]

Conquering misconceptions around social enterprise

We were interested to see a social enterprise pitching on Dragon’s Den recently. It’s always good to see alternative forms of business profiled in the mainstream media. However, it was disappointing to hear Peter Jones dismissing the entrepreneur by saying she was confused as to whether her venture was a business or a social enterprise…. […]

Lucy Findlay named among top women in social enterprise

We were delighted to discover last week that Lucy Findlay, Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark CIC, is included on the inaugural WISE100 (Women in Social Enterprise 100) index, which recognises inspirational women in social enterprise. A new initiative from NatWest SE100, the WISE100 was launched at a special event in London last week.  The index is […]

Podcast – A different way of doing business

In the latest interview released on Tony Loyd’s Social Entrepreneur podcast, Lucy Findlay talks about the development of the unique social enterprise accreditation offered by Social Enterprise Mark CIC, which provides accreditation for businesses that enhance the greater good. “We recognize the type of business that is putting the money it makes back into society and […]

Pluss Work and Health Programme Announcement

The Pluss Organisation CIC is delighted to have been awarded the Work and Health Programme contract for Southern England by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This result will allow Pluss to support an even greater number of people with health conditions and disabilities into sustainable work. Pluss has a proud heritage of supporting […]

New ethical easy access account for charities and businesses

To mark Good Money Week (8th to 14th October) Charity Bank, the savings and loans bank with a mission to use money for good, is challenging charities and businesses to consider what their current bank is doing with their money and whether this is aligned with their organisation’s values. Research commissioned by Charity Bank earlier this […]

Have we reached the point of diminishing social return?

Lucy Findlay responds to the 2017 State of Social Enterprise Report The 2017 State of Social Enterprise report was launched by Social Enterprise UK last week.  The findings around profitability got me thinking.  Apparently, larger social enterprises are more likely to make a profit; 72% of those with more than 100 employees, compared with 45% of those with […]

Social Enterprise in Higher Education – a growing trend

Following a spike in interest from the Higher Education sector over the last 12 months, we are delighted to announce we now accredit ten Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) as independently assessed social enterprises. This represents a ten-fold increase within the five years since Plymouth University became the first HEI to receive the Social Enterprise Mark […]

Beyond certification – the Mark of a better business

Following the news in the summer that Sainsbury’s are replacing the established and trusted FAIRTRADE Mark with their own in-house certification scheme, there seems to be a general trend in this direction by big producers. Multinational giants Mondelez International (which owns Cadbury), Unilever, and Barry Callebaut (world’s biggest producer of chocolate and cocoa products) have […]

Charity Bank named among Best for the World in global business honours

Charity Bank, an ethical bank with a mission to use money for good, has been named among companies that are Best for the World in 2017, selected from more than 2,200 Certified B Corporations. B Corporations are companies that meet the highest standards of verified overall social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability, and aspire to […]

Social Enterprise Mark accreditation breaks new ground in Africa

Social Enterprise Mark CIC, the body responsible for the only internationally available social enterprise accreditation, has recently awarded the first Social Enterprise Mark in the African continent, to a Non-Profit Organisation working to secure quality education for all children in South Africa. Symphonia for South Africa (SSA) aims to strengthen the fabric of South African […]

Providing credible standards for social enterprise

Lucy Findlay blog for the Regulator of Community Interest Companies Upholding the standard for social enterprise For more than 7 years, Social Enterprise Mark CIC (and formerly RISE, the umbrella body that supported social enterprises in the south west of England) has acted as an arbiter of robust social enterprise standards. Since our inception back […]

Helping consumers and businesses to do good business

With research showing that public trust in business is declining, we have teamed up with other independent Standard Bodies that set and assess genuine and transparent standards that help consumers cut through the barrage of branding and use their purchasing power for good. We are calling on consumers to go ‘Beyond the Badge’ and look out for credible independent labels […]

Mosaic and tile-making classes

Art4Space has launched a new programme of mosaic and tile-making classes, to run in Stockwell, London on Tuesday evenings from 12th September. The classes are run by artists with over 15 years mosaic and ceramic experience who have a real passion for their art forms. The artists will inspire you to explore your creativity in […]

Enhance Social Enterprise programme of free workshops

As part of the Enhance Social Enterprise (#EnhanceSE) programme, Cosmic is delighted to be delivering two series of free workshops, focussing on Leadership in Social Enterprises, and Getting to Grips with Digital. #EnhanceSE  is an European Regional Development Fund project, delivering support to social enterprises and social entrepreneurs across Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay, through […]

Can ‘fairly traded’ really replace ‘Fairtrade’?

As the authority responsible for implementing the robust standards and independent accreditation processes of the Social Enterprise Mark and Social Enterprise Gold Mark, we were very sad to hear of the decision by Sainsbury’s to apply their own “fairly-traded” scheme to Red Label tea in place of the widely trusted FAIRTRADE Mark. Much as Sainsbury’s […]

Charity Bank’s loan book exceeds £100 million

Social Enterprise Mark holder Charity Bank, the ethical bank that uses savings to make loans to charities and social enterprises, today announced that its book of drawn loans has exceeded £100 million for the first time. The bank also shared details of its five most recent loans that helped it to reach this milestone. Since […]

University of Northampton given Gold rating for teaching excellence

New Social Enterprise Gold Mark holder The University of Northampton has recently achieved a second Gold – it was given the Gold Award in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest rating possible, which places it among the elite of the UK’s higher education institutions. The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) has been introduced as the […]

Social enterprise launches new eco-foaming hand wash

New Honey Blossom Eco Foaming Hand Wash from Social Enterprise Mark holder CLARITY, is launched into large organisations and the government to support the employment of blind, disabled and otherwise disadvantaged people. Developed in co-operation with the Cabinet Office and Interserve, the product, and the fact that CLARITY now holds The Planet MarkTM, emphasises their […]

Recognising social enterprise excellence in Higher Education

Three UK Higher Education Institutions have become the latest organisations to be awarded the prestigious Social Enterprise Gold Mark, in recognition of their social enterprise excellence. Plymouth College of Art, The University of Northampton and the University of Winchester join a growing network of gold standard social enterprises, which have proven their commitment to creating lasting positive […]

Profiteering from the sick and dying…chapter 2

Another bonanza for the shareholders? This blog follows on from a previous blog on this subject, published in 2014 My family and I have recently been subject to the vagaries of NHS system and the bewildering world of social care.  Like so many families when a loved one falls seriously ill, you take a dive […]

Celebrating social enterprises ‘Making a Mark’

Following the success of the Making a Mark competition last year, which celebrated the vast impact that accredited social enterprises make through their diverse activities, we have decided to repeat the competition this year. The competition highlights examples of how accredited social enterprises are creating considerable social impact within their local communities and in wider society and the […]

Visionary device scoops £20k award

An innovative device, which will improve the quality of life of thousands of people with double vision, has received £20,000 after winning a top award. Social Enterprise Mark holder The Beacon Centre and University of Wolverhampton joined forces to offer the 2017 Beacon Visionary+ Challenge Award. The winner of the award has been announced as […]

What challenges do social enterprises face?

As part of the Social UP project, which aims to improve the sustainability, social impact and scalability of social enterprises, to enable them to achieve their societal mission in a financially viable manner, we are inviting you to participate in a questionnaire to identify the key needs and challenges of social enterprises, how these challenges are addressed, […]

The rise of ethical consumerism: considering the impact of purchase decisions

Although it is heartening to see that consumers are increasingly looking at sustainability and ethical issues in their purchasing decisions, as evidenced by a recent international study by Unilever, I do worry about whether they are actually able to make an informed decision.  The proliferation of ‘greenwashing’ does mask and make buying decisions more confusing. […]

Social Enterprise Mark CIC 2016 Stakeholder Survey Report

Many thanks to all Social Enterprise Mark/Gold Mark holders and other stakeholders who took time to participate in our 2016 stakeholder survey. We have now analysed the responses and are pleased to publish our Stakeholder Survey Report, which summarises the impact that Social Enterprise Mark/Gold Mark accreditation currently has for those that hold the Mark, and how we […]

Challenging consumers to look ‘beyond the badge’

Social Enterprise Mark CIC has partnered with several well-respected standard setting and accreditation bodies to encourage consumers to challenge ethical labels and sustainability claims that are used by brands they buy from. With recent studies* suggesting that sustainability issues are playing an increasing role in consumer purchase decisions, the new campaign aims to educate consumers […]

The most rewarding ISA in the world?

The British public wants banks to lend to organisations and projects that benefit society, but most people do not know what happens to their savings while they are deposited with their bank. This is one of the findings of a new piece of research conducted by Social Enterprise Mark holder Charity Bank, the ethical bank with […]

Rachel Wang Nominated for the UK’s Largest Diversity Awards

Rachel Wang FRSA, a black business leader and social entrepreneur from Wandsworth, has been nominated for the Entrepreneur of Excellence Award at The National Diversity Awards 2017. The Breathtaking Liverpool Anglican Cathedral will play host to this year’s awards, to be held on 8th September. Britain’s most inspirational and selfless people will come together to […]

Cockpit Arts – ‘Cockpit Effect’ Report

Makers’ engagement with Cockpit Arts’ Business Incubation equals greater success Social Enterprise Mark holder Cockpit Arts has recently published its Cockpit Effect Report on the growth and development of craft businesses based at their two business incubation centres in London. Having celebrated their 30th Anniversary year in 2016 and reflected on the evolution of the business, […]

Fairtrade: A Mark of inspiration

The impending Fairtrade Fortnight (27th February – 12th March) led me to reminisce that the Fairtrade movement inspired the roots of our own accreditation system, back in the late 2000’s. Fairtrade is a global movement to secure fair prices, working conditions and terms of trade for farmers, producers and workers across the world. By guaranteeing a […]

Social UP – design thinking for social enterprises

We are excited to be involved in a new EU co-funded project, which aims to improve the sustainability, social impact and scalability of social enterprises, to enable them to achieve their societal mission in a financially viable manner. Social UP is an EU co-funded project under the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, with the […]

Big Issue Invest Launches ‘Impact Loans England’ Programme

Social Enterprise Mark holder Big Issue Invest has today launched Impact Loans England, a new £5 million lending scheme aimed at enabling social enterprises to access loan funding of between £20,000 and £150,000. The programme is funded by Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, with finance being provided by its partners Big Lottery Fund […]

Social justice – more than just a pipedream?

By Steve Hawkins, CEO of Pluss Pluss has over 45 years experience of working with some of the most disadvantaged people in society. However, the fact is that today, we are working with many less severely disadvantaged people than we have done in the past. This is absolutely not because the need has gone away, but […]

Further expansion of our international network

As a global champion of social enterprise standards and the body responsible for the only internationally available social enterprise accreditation, we are delighted to have recently expanded our international network of accredited social enterprises, representing a five-fold increase within 2 years. Network of Asia and Pacific Producers Limited (NAPP), part of the the global Fairtrade organisation, […]

Real Ideas Organisation wins national social enterprise award

cial Enterprise Mark holder RIO – the Real Ideas Organisation – a social enterprise based in the south west has won the Inspiring Youth Enterprise award at the UK Social Enterprise Awards. These annual awards recognise excellence and outstanding achievements by social enterprises – businesses that reinvest their profits for good, benefitting people and planet. […]

Promoting true professionalism as a social enterprise

By Simon Ayers, CEO of TrustMark As TrustMark nears a close on its 10th Anniversary year, we nostalgically look back on how we got to this point. This year we’ve been campaigning heavily to promote reputable tradespeople, and shone light into the daily activities of our ten TrustMark Ambassadors, all of whom excel in customer service, […]

SCDA get go ahead for new community centre and nursery

Work will start next week on a new community centre in Bedminster, Bristol, which will house a 54 place nursery, offices for the management charity and a new community centre. The site on Chessel Street was purchased by Social Enterprise Mark holder Southville Community Development Association (SCDA), the team behind the successful Southville Centre, 18 […]

NatWest SE100 announce shortlist for Social Business Awards

Now in its 7th year, the leading market intelligence resource for social ventures, the NatWest SE100 Index, has announced the shortlist for its 2016/17 Social Business Awards. Revealed at the annual Good Deals social investment conference on 13th November, a total of 26 organisations have been shortlisted, celebrating the most inspiring and effective social enterprise leaders, and […]

Column Bakehouse on a roll with landmark University deal

Students, staff and visitors at Social Enterprise Mark holder Plymouth University will now be able to enjoy local artisan bread and baked goods on campus thanks to a landmark deal between Column Bakehouse and University Commercial Services Plymouth Ltd (UCSP). The deal will see the award winning Column Bakehouse – Plymouth’s first and only social […]

Post truth and post authenticity?

I write this on a day when Donald Trump has been announced as President Elect of the USA.  There are many questions being asked and much soul searching for answers to them. Amongst others – are we in a post truth era or an era that wants to kick over the traces of corporate and […]

Real People HR shortlisted for Personnel Today Awards

Social Enterprise Mark holder Real People HR has been shortlisted for Consultancy of the Year at the Personnel Today Awards 2016. These annual awards celebrate talent in Human Resources, and the Consultancy of the Year category celebrates the important contribution made by external experts to the success of HR in organisations. Helen Giles, Managing Director of Real People, said: […]

Accredited social enterprises shortlisted for prestigious awards

We were delighted to see so many Social Enterprise Mark holders shortlisted for the upcoming 2016 UK Social Enterprise Awards, including long-standing Mark holder Connection Crew, which is shortlisted for the prestigious Social Enterprise of the Year accolade. Congratulations and best of luck to all the following organisations: Beacon Centre – One to Watch Award Big […]

We are moving!

On Thursday 24th November 2016, Social Enterprise Mark CIC will moving into office space at the HQ Business Centre, managed by Social Enterprise Mark holder Millfields Trust. Millfields Trust provides a platform to enable small and medium sized business to grow and develop. The Trust was set up to enable local people to contribute and manage […]

Cutting out a more effective way of doing business?

Public sector commissioners are coming under unprecedented financial and political pressure to make huge savings, particularly in the health service.  Unfortunately, this type of pressure only leads to short-termism rather than more strategic, long term decision making.  The tight timetable for the submission of STPs (Sustainability and Transformation Plans) by government also added to these […]

Pioneering competition launched by Beacon Centre

Social Enterprise Mark holder Beacon Centre for the Blind has launched a pioneering competition to improve the lives of those living with sight loss and or other sensory loss. Inventors across the West Midlands are being urged to sign up for the Beacon Visionary+ Challenge which has a prize fund worth £20,000. It aims to find innovative products […]

Roots HR launch free HR advice line for NCVO members

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) last week announced West Midlands-based Social Enterprise Mark holder Roots HR CIC as a Trusted Supplier for HR services, including the provision of free HR advice for NCVO members. Roots HR has offered high quality people management and employment law advice, tailored to the not-for-profit sector, as part of […]

Ingeus and Pluss combine expertise in work, health and disability

Ingeus and Social Enterprise Mark holder Pluss have announced a joint initiative to help people with disabilities and long-term health conditions into sustainable work. The collaboration brings together Ingeus’ proven expertise in supporting jobseekers, including those with complex health conditions, with Pluss’ award-winning approach to helping people with disabilities back into work. As experts in work, […]

Unlimited Potential shortlisted for Living Wage Champion Awards 2016

Social Enterprise Mark holder Unlimited Potential has been shortlisted by the Living Wage Foundation for the Living Wage Champion Awards 2016, which recognise Living Wage employers that have made great contributions to communities and industries by implementing and celebrating the Living Wage. The Living Wage Foundation offers a recognition mark for employers that commit to paying […]

Julie Hawker awarded Society of Leadership Fellow

CEO of Cosmic and Social Enterprise Mark Ambassador Julie Hawker has recently been presented with a new role, that of Society of Leadership Fellow of St. George’s House, Windsor Castle. Julie joins a very impressive host of fellows and Cosmic are extremely proud to be represented in this way. St. Georges House was founded in 1966 […]

University of Salford Enterprise team recognised for entrepreneurial support

Social Enterprise Gold Mark holder University of Salford has been recognised for its efforts in engaging students in enterprise activity, at a prestigious awards ceremony. The Enterprise team in Student Experience and Support won the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) Award for Entrepreneurship, in recognition of the services that the enterprise team offer to students, both […]

Growing consumer appetite for brands with social purpose

UK consumers, especially the younger generation, would pay more for products/services with a clear social purpose, according to a recent report from communications agency WE. The report, based on a a study of 2,000 UK consumers by YouGov, showed a growing consumer appetite for organisations that demonstrate a social purpose and how they are having a positive impact […]

Student Satisfaction at Social Enterprise Universities

Two universities that have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark have scored highly in the 2016 National Student Survey (NSS). University of St Mark and St John in Plymouth (Marjon) has shot up the league tables, showing the highest percentage point increase of any university this year, rising up the rankings to be rated joint 35th out of […]

How social enterprise can facilitate innovation in health and social care

I was recently interested to hear about an innovative new movement focused on collaboration between practitioners, businesses, and communities, to improve and support health and social care services. World Health Innovation Summit (WHIS) is a platform for everyone in the community to come together and share knowledge to deliver solutions for the benefit of all. […]

Response to Big Lottery Fund Consultation

We recently submitted a response to a public consultation from the Cabinet Office, which is seeking opinions on proposed new policy directions for the allocation of Big Lottery Funds in England, Isle of Man and UK-wide funding programmes. Big Lottery Fund (BLF) receives 40% of the £1.8 billion ‘good causes’ money generated through the National […]

UK’s first in-depth Social Impact Survey launches today

Social ventures across the UK encouraged to offer experience and insight to maximise impact A landmark Social Impact Survey, designed to uncover awareness and attitudes to impact measurement and maximise social performance among frontline social ventures, launches today across the UK. The Buzzacott Social Impact Survey is the first ever in-depth survey of UK charities […]

NatWest SE100 Business Awards 2016/17

WANTED: Bosses on a mission! Hunt is on for UK’s most inspiring social enterprise leaders – as entries open for NatWest SE100 Social Business Awards 2016/17 A talent search with a difference got underway today to find the UK’s best social enterprise bosses. Thousands of charities, social enterprises and responsible businesses are being encouraged to nominate their most […]

Pluss wins ERSA ‘Disability and Health’ Award

Social Enterprise Mark holder Pluss was recently named the winner of the Disability and Health Employment Award at the annual ERSA Employability Awards. The Employability Awards, now in their fourth year, showcase and champion best practice from across the employment support sector, celebrating the hard work and achievements of those involved in supporting people into work. The Disability and Health Employment Award recognises a […]

Health in our community and how we can work together

By Gareth Presch, Founder of World Health Innovation Summit We now have the tools and the will to inspire, innovate and share knowledge to support our health services. World Health Innovation Summit provides that space for innovation and knowledge exchange to take place so all sectors of society benefit. Problem: Our health services are under immense […]

Is Social Sector Data Driven? Or Data Driven Mad?

Those of us who run social enterprises and charities collect and use lots of data for all kinds of purposes. Many would argue there’s too much. Business experts tell us we could be sitting on a goldmine if only we could harness this amazing resource.  Yet the reality is that many are stumbling around in […]

Free loan webinar for charities and social enterprises

Social Enterprise Mark holder Charity Bank is holding a free 45-minute webinar on 14th May 2016, designed for trustees and senior managers of charities and social enterprises considering loan finance,or for those who simply want to learn more. The webinar will cover: evaluating if loans are right for your organisation the pros and cons of loan finance […]

New look for Social Enterprise Mark accreditation

We are excited to unveil a new look for Social Enterprise Mark CIC and our accreditation Marks – the Social Enterprise Mark and the Social Enterprise Gold Mark. Our objective in creating these new designs was to more clearly demonstrate/communicate the status of those displaying the Marks as proven and accredited social enterprises, guaranteed to be […]

Social Enterprise Mark holders working together to add social value

Social Enterprise Mark holders Cosmic and Pluss have worked closely together for several years, through project work, development of a new Pluss website and, most recently, the creation of a new video to showcase the outcomes for clients that Pluss have supported into finding employment. The objective was to produce a video that created real emotions, which was achieved using […]

Help & Care named Making a Mark competition winners

Dorset based charity Help & Care was named as the winner of the Social Enterprise Mark CIC ‘Making a Mark’ competition at a celebration at our recent conference in Salford. They were presented with a special award, created for us by Rowan, an arts centre and charity for learning disabled people. The Making a Mark competition […]

New Media Programme for Vulnerable Adults Living in Woolwich

In July, Social Enterprise Mark holder Chocolate Films launches a large scale media and film-making programme in the heart of Woolwich for disadvantaged residents of the borough. They are are offering people who have complex issues such as substance misuse and mental health issues, as well as those experiencing difficulties finding housing, childcare and employment, a range of training and skills opportunities […]

Making a Mark Competition

At a special award reception at our annual conference on 8th June 2016, we announced the winner of our Making a Mark competition, celebrating the vast and diverse social benefits created by Social Enterprise Mark holders. The competition highlighted examples of how accredited social enterprises are creating considerable social impact within their local communities and in wider society. Following […]

Westway Trust #CultureMakers

Social Enterprise Mark holder Westway Trust are giving young people aged 16 – 24 the power and the money (up to £400) to bring a creative project to life. The Trust is now recruiting for a second group of #CultureMakers, providing: Mentoring and training from creative professionals Inspiration through a range of creative activities chosen by you […]

Pluss named as ‘Building Better Opportunities’ lead partner

Social Enterprise Mark holder Pluss has been successful with five stage one applications for the ‘Building Better Opportunities’ programme across South West England and West Yorkshire. ‘Building Better Opportunities’ is a project jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund. It focuses on promoting social inclusion, and driving local jobs and growth. Pluss will […]

Liverpool Social Economy Panel welcomes Minister for Civil Society

Social Enterprise Network (SEN) recently welcomed Rob Wilson MP, the Minister for Civil Society, to address its new Social Economy Panel in Liverpool, on Thursday 12th May. Leading figures in the local social economy, including representatives from the Heseltine Institute, Social Enterprise Mark holder Fusion21 and others, met with Rob Wilson MP, to discuss the growing social […]

Mind the gap…

…The step change needed to halve the disability employment gap By Steve Hawkins, CEO of Pluss First the good news, then the maths. The good news is the government’s unequivocal commitment to halving the disability employment gap. Now the maths. The disability employment gap currently stands at around 43 percentage points. To halve the gap means […]

NatWest SE100 launches Social Business Club

Last night saw the launch of the NatWest SE100 Social Business Club, the new business support club offering insight, inspiration, expertise and peer learning for social enterprises on the NatWest SE100 Index. The Club was launched at an evening event hosted by NatWest to announce this year’s Cabinet Office Social Investment Awards, which highlight the […]

Cash cows and money milking

The public and press have short memories. Today and over the last few weeks there has been flurry of scandal and comment about corporate greed. Even the right wing press are shouting about how BHS has been asset stripped, leaving a huge pensions hole. From offshore accounts and tax evasion, to BP paying a huge […]

Influencing the international destiny of social enterprise

By Richard Cobbett, Assessment and Compliance Manager Last month I had the great privilege of visiting Beijing, China, where I had been invited by the British Council to talk about the development of the Social Enterprise Mark certification process. As well as the Council, I met with several key academics, including Professors Yuan Ruijun, Zhang Yanlong, Meng […]

How the Social Enterprise Mark can benefit Higher Education Institutions

By Cara Aitchison, Vice Chancellor of University of St Mark & St John Our students and graduates are increasingly reporting that they seek employment and lifestyles that enable them to contribute to the social, cultural and environmental well-being of their communities, society and the world around them, rather than simply thinking of their degree as […]

Digital leadership programme to create a new generation of business leaders

Social Enterprise Mark holder Cosmic recently announced the launch of their new Digital Leadership training programme. Cosmic has launched this new programme in response to research carried out both locally and nationally looking at Digital Leadership in business. The evidence suggests that in many cases there is little or no real understanding of what Digital Leadership actually is […]

The Big Issue Celebrate 200 Million Sales

On 7th April 2016 The Big Issue celebrated 200 million sales in Britain. In almost 25 years since its founding, the iconic magazine has changed the publishing landscape and the lives of thousands and thousands of people, working on the simple ‘A hand up, not a hand out’ mantra. The Big Issue is not a […]

Helping to create winning or better social enterprises?

I recently stumbled upon an American blog which talks about whether competitions are good for social enterprises.  They are indeed all the rage – from social enterprise ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitches, to ‘Social Enterprise of the Year’ awards.  However, are they really what social enterprise is about, and do they really tell us about whether […]

National Apprenticeship Week 2016

To mark National Apprenticeship Week, we are supporting the #PasstheTorch campaign. Social Enterprise Mark CIC took on our first Apprentice in December. Lara Wylie, who joined the team as Customer Relations Assistant, is enrolled on a Level 2 Business and Administration Apprenticeship through City College Plymouth. On completion of the Level 2 qualification, Lara intends to enrol on […]

Cascade spring training programme

Social Enterprise Mark holder Cascade has recently published their Spring training programme. Workshops include: Personal Effectiveness: Emotional Intelligence & Communicating with Impact Attracting, Recruiting & Managing Volunteers Writing a Winning Bid Tendering for Services: preparing & presenting your call for bids Please click here to download the full programme. Full day workshops cost £149 and […]

Have you applied for funding from grant-making trusts and foundations?

If you have applied for, or received funding from grant-making trusts and foundations, Foundational Thinking invite you to complete their short survey, based on emerging themes from a literature review of the practice of grant-making trusts and foundation. Foundational Thinking is a Flip Finance project set up to explore the ways in which grant-making trusts and foundations can better […]

Green travellers rejoice!

Social Enterprise Mark holder Co-wheels car club has launched a new scheme to enable low emission travel in and around the Lake District. Hybrid cars with roof racks can now be booked online and picked up directly from train stations in Cumbria, so it’s easy to take a bike up on the train and explore […]

Global Action Plan recognised for Water Explorers project

Social Enterprise Mark holder Global Action Plan won the Community and Education Award at the recent Waterwise Water Efficiency Awards for its Water Explorer Project. Water Explorer is a free programme for schools to learn about water and the environment, supported by the HSBC Water Programme. The programme empowers future generations through fun, interactive water saving Missions and provides the platform for […]

Selby Trust honoured at City of London Sustainable City Awards

Social Enterprise Mark holder The Selby Trust in Tottenham was announced as runner-up in the Building Sustainable Communities category at the City of London Sustainable City Awards. These awards are given to organisations which have demonstrated excellence in sustainable development. Moussa Amine Sylla, Green Hub Coordinator at the Selby Centre, said: “I always believed that the planet […]

Measuring Social Impact – The Difference of Social Enterprise

Part 2 By Richard Cobbett, Assessment and Compliance Manager Last month, I started to consider how social enterprises should be distinguishing themselves when compared to other business models looking to validate ethical business credentials, through how they measure and report on their social impact (including environmental). To recap, there are three broad ways through which a business […]

Social Enterprise Mark CIC accredited as Living Wage employer

The Living Wage Foundation is pleased to announce that Social Enterprise Mark CIC is now accredited as a Living Wage employer. The Living Wage commitment will see everyone working at Social Enterprise Mark CIC, regardless of whether they are permanent employees or third-party contractors, receive a minimum hourly wage of £8.25. This is significantly higher than […]

Free carer workshops in Dorset

Social Enterprise Mark holder Help & Care has recently launched a new timetable for its free carer workshops for carers. There are over 50,000 people caring for loved ones in Dorset alone. That’s one in 15 people looking after someone close to them with very little extra support. Many of these people can feel very isolated […]

Social Enterprise Lecture Series Spring 2016

The Institute for Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths, University of London is holding a social enterprise lecture series, showcasing Social Entrepreneurship across sectors, and from around the world. The series started on Tuesday 12th January, with a lecture from Dave Boyle, Director of The Community Shares Company, on ‘Community Shares, or, Social Investment by the rest of us‘. […]

Measuring Social Impact – the difference of social enterprise

Part 1 By Richard Cobbett, Assessment and Compliance Manager “Social enterprise”, “Social business”, “Social Entrepreneurism”, “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR). How many people must be left scratching their heads when trying to determine the difference between these labels? The fact that such business models can all measure and report on their ethical business outputs in similar ways explains much of this […]

Vote for Ideal for All in “People’s Choice Award”

Social Enterprise Mark holder Ideal for All has been shortlisted for the prestigious “People’s Choice Award” in the Sandwell & West Birmingham CCG 2016 Equality Awards. Ideal for All (IFA) empowers and enables disabled and disadvantaged people and their families, carers, support workers and communities to be active citizens and to fully participate in society. IFA includes […]

How Good Are We At Doing ‘Good’?

By Kate Pierpoint, Deputy Chief Executive of Manor House Development Trust As we continue to face social and economic challenges, the need for value for money and maximised social impact continues to increase. The Social Value Act of 2012 has seen an acceleration of this trend. More recently, the demand for both financial and social return […]

The Phone Co-op wins national social enterprise award

…and is part of a record breaking social enterprise investment Social Enterprise Mark holder The Phone Co-op has won the Best Consumer Facing Social Enterprise Award at the UK Social Enterprise Awards 2015. The Phone Co-op is a consumer co-operative that exists to serve its members, and inspire others with an alternative, better model for business and […]

One Million Journeys

By Steve Hawkins, CEO of Pluss So now we know that a new Work and Health Programme will replace the two current DWP employment programmes when they end in 2017. Just a month after the Work & Pensions Committee recommended that DWP should ‘maintain, and ideally expand, a separate employment programme for disabled people’, the Government […]

Double award honour for Cosmic CEO

Julie Hawker, CEO of Social Enterprise Mark holder Cosmic and a Social Enterprise Mark Ambassador, was awarded the honour of Women’s Social Enterprise Champion of the Year at the UK Social Enterprise Awards 2015, held on London’s South Bank on 26th November.   These national awards recognise excellence and outstanding achievements by social enterprises – businesses that reinvest […]