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New partnership to bring social enterprise accreditation to Middle East

We are delighted to announce a new partnership with UAE-based social enterprise Companies Creating Change (C3), who will act as our official representative to expand social enterprise accreditation in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (MENAT) region. With a ten year track record in providing social enterprise accreditation, we have developed an international assessment […]

Building Back Better and
the Growth Obsession

Recently I was interviewed about the possible barriers that women social enterprise leaders face in order to scale up their businesses, and it got me thinking: What do we mean by growing? Who are we growing for and why do we need to grow?  It seems to me that society sees business growth through a […]

Partners for Possibility recognised for far-reaching impact in South Africa

Symphonia for South Africa is celebrating the inclusion of its flagship programme, Partners for Possibility (PfP), in the the Vanguard cohort of the Million Lives Club (MLC), a global initiative which recognises innovators and social entrepreneurs who are making a significant impact in addressing global development challenges. In reaching this milestone, PfP has successfully scaled […]

Building Back Health and Prosperity – Health Devolution Commission report

The Health Devolution Commission, an independent and cross party inquiry into the value and accountability of devolved health systems, has published its final report ‘Building Back Health and Prosperity‘. In the report, the commission, which is made up of five former health ministers across the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, calls for comprehensive health […]

Build Back Better Hackathon

As we experience the shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s clear that the effects will go on for many years, and has revealed cracks in our society that have long existed.  Join a growing consortium of organisations who are collaborating to organise a hackathon to allow us to rebuild a future that is more socially […]

Your experience of applying for emergency loan finance

Through our recent work with partners across the social sector, it has become clear that many social enterprises have experienced challenges when applying for government loans via mainstream banks. In particular, Bounce Back Loans (BBLs), which are designed to be accessed easy and self-certified, have proved difficult to access for social enterprises. We are working […]

Free weekday wellness sessions for families this summer

New social enterprise travel agency Charitable Travel has launched a partnership with The Mintridge Foundation and Atlantic City USA to provide free, Olympic inspired, ‘Weekday Wellness’ sessions for families to help keep children active and learn about fitness and nutrition during the school holidays, with the opportunity to ask advice from world-class athletes. Charitable Travel […]

Join the call to #BuildBackBetter

New research from the New Economics Foundation has showed that only 6% of the UK public want to return to the same type of economy as before the coronavirus outbreak, with almost 1/3 of those polled said they want to see big changes in the way the economy is run. It is clear that now […]

How social enterprises provide vital employment support

Today is National Employability Day; an opportunity for employment support organisations and employers to celebrate their hard work supporting people to enter or progress in employment. The theme this year is ‘Business as Usual’, which  highlights the vital role that employment support organisations and employers will play in the unprecedented challenge we face in building […]

Making travel a force for good

A new type of travel business has launched – Charitable Travel is a social enterprise with the clear aim of ensuring travel is a force for good, helping holidaymakers combine their travel planning with support for charities in the UK and around the world. Charitable Travel has a unique business model; the first nationally available […]

50% off recruitment services
for social enterprises

Tobias Recruitment Group is a new Plymouth-based recruiting specialist with a difference. They are one of the only recruitment businesses set up as a Community Interest Company (CIC), where at least 65% of profits are dedicated to improving the local community. Part of their year one goal is to fund a completely free to access […]

Cosmic cuts 60,000 driving miles during Covid-19 lockdown

Devon-based social enterprise Cosmic has cut 60,000 miles of driving during lockdown by transitioning to virtual skills training delivery. The company has a vision to inspire people to achieve success in the digital world, and has used the Covid-19 situation to alter the way they support communities in Devon and Somerset. Over the course of […]

Building back better after the crisis

UPDATE 09/06/2020 In the below blog, which I wrote at the end of April, I spoke about now being the time to #BuildBackBetter and how we need a new vision for the future that “transcends traditional political boundaries”. To be effective, #BuildBackBetter has to be a broader movement, encompassing both sides of the political spectrum, […]

Barclays Back to Business programme

In partnership with Cambridge Judge Business School, Barclays has developed the Barclays Back to Business Programme – a free online toolkit to identify and build resilience and recovery plans, which SMEs can navigate in their own time. The programme will help business owners to assess the health of their business and identify how to sustain […]

Monthly payment plan available from just £15/month

In an effort to ease immediate cashflow pressures on social enterprises, we are pleased to offer monthly payment plans for our Aspiring Social Enterprise and Social Enterprise Mark accreditations. For those who wish to spread the cost of the annual licence fee, it is possible to pay the annual licence fee in monthly instalments, just […]

Partners for Possibility: 10 years of far reaching impact across South Africa

Symphonia for South Africa is celebrating 10 years since the launch of its flagship programme, Partners for Possibility, which was launched with the aim of developing leadership capacity among school principals and business leaders, reducing inequality in education and ultimately creating a more just, equitable and joyful future for all South Africans. Partners for Possibility (PfP) […]

Vacancies – Non-Executive Directors

As we look to embark on an ambitious growth trajectory, we are currently recruiting two new board members to help move the business forward and reach new markets. We are specifically looking for candidates with expertise in: Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategic leadership, and corporate relations; OR Franchising […]

Social enterprise leaders welcome additional government financial support

Together with our partners from across the social economy, we welcome the recent Government announcement  that £85million is being released in a significant step towards saving the sector, in response to our recent sector campaigning for urgent intervention. Over 1,000 businesses, including The Co-operative Group, have signed a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, urging him to act […]

Calling on Government to protect jobs for vulnerable workers

We have joined other national business networks to call on the Government to adopt a more nuanced approach to protect vulnerable workers from the effects of the current crisis. The Chancellor announced last week that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (aka furlough scheme) would be extended to October, but confirmed that employers may be asked […]

Fully funded social enterprise start-up support webinars

Do you have a business idea that could help people or the environment? The Heart of the South West Enhance Social Enterprise Programme is offering four fully funded webinars, which will give you the tools you need to start your social enterprise. Social entrepreneurs across the Heart of the South West area (Somerset, Devon, Plymouth […]

Financial support for social enterprises during COVID-19

By Ishita Ranjan, Project Manager at Good Finance It’s been over a month now since we went into lockdown, and as individuals and businesses fight to adapt, we are all adjusting to life in the new normal. This is no different for social enterprises; some have struggled to operate and have lost entire revenue streams, […]

Calling on Government to #SaveOurSocents

We are working with partners in the social economy to call on the Government to make some small changes to the way it is currently distributing business support, to ensure the long-term sustainability of the UK’s 100,000 social enterprises, co-operatives and community businesses. We realise that many social enterprises have been falling through the cracks […]

Maximising the Leadership Lessons from COVID-19

South African leadership development programme Partners for Possibility is working tirelessly to help prepare their community for a post Covid-19 world, by building a body of knowledge around the leadership learnings from Covid-19 for business leaders , school principals , community stakeholders and funders. They are releasing a series of opinion pieces, which aim to […]

To Russia and back… by the skin of my teeth!

The rate of current social and economic change is breath-taking. My second visit to Siberia will forever be associated not only with the horrors unfolding in Western Europe but also the capacity for human kindness, generosity and love in a society that is often stereotyped and treated with suspicion. It began as a fairly routine […]

How can we support you?

We realise this is an extremely challenging and uncertain time for individuals, businesses and society in general. We are here to support our network and the wider social enterprise community in any way we can during this difficult time. To enable us to focus on how we can best support you, we have created a […]

Social Investors Respond to COVID-19

Social investors realise that this will be a challenging time for the charities and social enterprises they work with, many of whom work with the most vulnerable people Along with other social investors, Charity Bank has issued a joint statement on the COVID-19 outbreak: Social Investors Respond to COVID-19: our support & commitment We want […]

New partnership to provide virtual support to social enterprises

In response to the current coronavirus outbreak, we are pleased to announce a new partnership with Ethical Angel, which will harness tech and people-power to provide free, virtual support to social enterprises during the coronavirus crisis (and beyond). Ethical Angel, an employee engagement engine, can virtually match the skills and resources of the private sector […]

Reaching out to our network

Given the current situation, we wanted to reach out to our network to remind you that we are here to help in any way we can. First and foremost, we hope you and your families, friends and colleagues are all safe and well during this difficult time. Acting on the latest government advice, we have […]

The real barriers faced by disabled people looking for work

By Jane Hatton, Founder/Director of Evenbreak There is much talk about the disability employment gap and its causes. At Evenbreak, we wanted to find out from the real experts (disabled job seekers themselves) what barriers prevent disabled people from gaining work.  People on the Enactus programme at UCL conducted research on our behalf. They received an […]

New Chair for Social Enterprise Mark CIC

We are excited to welcome Professor Linda Drew as the new Chair of the Social Enterprise Mark CIC Board of Directors. Linda is a creative education champion with experience as a board member and trustee in higher education and the creative industries. She takes over the role from Ian Middleton, who has been Chair for […]

Future Make workshops for 7-11 year olds in Plymouth

Future Make, presented by Real Ideas Organisation, is a holiday club in Plymouth that features a series of groundbreaking programmes and projects for children aged 7 – 11 years old. Get a taste of the future: flying drones, designing tech, creating digital immersive experiences and engineering extreme structures. There will be plenty of opportunities to […]

Accessing advice on social enterprise legal structures

By Kath Walkling, Account Executive at Byfield Consultancy Social Enterprises – A Marked Distinction Currently there is no single UK-wide legal definition for social enterprises. Within the social enterprise sector, it is generally agreed that certain criteria should be fulfilled by organisations claiming to operate a social enterprise business model. These include: Trading primarily for […]

Beneath the marketing wrapping:
is social value at the heart?

Our 10-year anniversary has given me cause to reflect more so than usual.  To me, the world seems to have become much less transparent and harder to negotiate. What you see might not be what you actually get, e.g. fake news, greenwashing/purpose washing, uncorroborated rumours on social media etc. In light of this, ‘authenticity’ has […]

University of Winchester becomes member of UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

The University of Winchester has become the newest member of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), underlining its commitment to tackling the significant global challenges the world now faces, including climate change. The announcement follows the launch of the University’s new 10-year Strategic Vision 2030, which identifies its aim to help shape a better […]

HISBE looking to expand with crowdfunding campaign

HISBE Food CIC, a social enterprise and sustainable supermarket in Brighton, is targeting a £450,000 bond raise through an investment crowdfunding campaign on the Triodos Crowdfunding platform. HISBE’s mission is to transform the food industry, by reinventing the way supermarkets do business. HISBE does things differently. You can do your whole shop at HISBE but […]

UK Social Entrepreneur Index returns for a second year

Nominations are now open for the 2020 UK Social Entrepreneur Index, which returns for a second year after celebrating the success of 29 of the UK’s most inspiring social entrepreneurs and a further ten ‘ones to watch’ in 2019. The Index is a celebration of entrepreneurs running businesses with social purposes, with the aim of […]

Charity Bank launches its
State of the Sector report

The social sector is feeling the pressure of meeting an increase in demand for services, while dealing with widespread budget cuts, new research from Charity Bank reveals. Charity Bank polled 182 social sector leaders for its State of the Sector report, which found that 85% of charities expect demand for their services to grow over the next two […]

Social Enterprise Mark incorporated into CoGo impact framework

We are excited to announce the Social Enterprise Mark is now included in the impact framework for the CoGo app, which makes it easy for consumers to find businesses that do good for people and the planet. The app lists only organisations that have met the requirements of one or more ‘badges’, which reflect sustainable […]

Social enterprise Vs.
anti-social enterprise?

Recently there has been a flurry of news and a growing acceptance from the public that the brand of capitalism that puts the shareholders’ interest above all else, is broken. Indeed, the FT recently reported that City Fund managers are calling for a radical rethink and an end to the constant obsession with economic growth. […]

How do Companies Act?
The time for change is now

As we face an environmental and social crisis, we don’t have the time to slowly push for change, we must demand it, and demand it happens now. Now is the time to send a message to our politicians. Through the ‘How do Companies Act’ campaign, we are joining Social Value UK, Social Enterprise UK and […]

Social enterprise:
to profit or not to profit?

By Richard Cobbett, Assessment and Compliance Manager Arguably, what principally distinguishes a social enterprise from other forms of commercial enterprise – including other types of “social business” – is the commitment to distributing the majority of profits generated towards social purposes. So why is it that some social enterprises take pride in the label of […]

Welcome to new Board members

We are pleased to welcome two new members to our Board of Directors. Professor Linda Drew is a creative education champion with experience as a board member and trustee in higher education and the creative industries. Linda said: “I’m delighted to be joining the Board of Directors of Social Enterprise Mark CIC. I know the […]

Why are we not employing more people with disabilities?

By Chris Walkling Working in a Mental Health setting, I have been a frontline witness to the many challenges my clients faced in their daily lives. And yet, surprisingly, one of the greatest challenges they had to contend with, had nothing to do with their disabilities per se.  And it’s not a problem that normally comes […]

Aston Productivity through People Programme 2020

The Aston Business School Productivity through People programme is back for 2020 and is now accepting applications. Productivity through People is a unique six-month national programme that has stemmed from research into the UK’s productivity level. It is the only productivity-focused programme of its kind for SME owners and members of senior management. This programme […]

Realise Futures asks #WhyNot employ disabled people?

Disability and learning skills specialist Realise Futures has launched a campaign aimed at boosting the number of people with disabilities into work in the East of England. The #WhyNot – Why Not Employ Disabled People – campaign is calling for greater awareness of the real benefits of employing people with disabilities – including better staff […]

Opportunities to support the Social Entrepreneur Index

Now more than ever is a time for social entrepreneurs to celebrate. Not only to recognise where they have come from, but to look to the future and inspire and stimulate further growth across the sector. The Social Entrepreneur Index explores and celebrates the UK’s social entrepreneur success stories and challenges more people to consider […]

World-first in climate change teaching for University of Winchester

University of Winchester teacher training students are set to be among the world’s first United Nations accredited Climate Change Teachers. Winchester is the first university in the world to offer student teachers the opportunity to undertake the Climate Change Teacher course, which is designed to equip future educators across all age groups and disciplines with the […]

Aston Programme for Small Business Growth open for applications

The Aston University Programme for Small Business Growth aims to support SMEs to grow by increasing their turnover and creating jobs within Coventry and Warwickshire and Greater Birmingham and Solihull. Don’t miss your opportunity to benefit from the unique tools and knowledge provided by experts in SME leadership and management, as well as network with […]

Annual celebrations to mark significant growth

Partnering organisations, funders, schools, business leaders and other interested parties will once again gather in Cape Town and Johannesburg this October to celebrate the continually expanding footprint of the Partners for Possibility (PfP) programme and to reflect upon the tremendous strides made by the PfP team in 2019. Held annually, these celebratory events showcase stories […]

Ten tips to win at online video

If you haven’t already, how do you get started with video marketing? If you do use online video, how do you make it most effective and achieve measurable results? It really doesn’t have to be complicated, laborious or expensive. In this blog post and the below video, the Chocolate Films Glasgow team shares its ’10 […]

Social enterprise soap brand wants you to steal their staff

BECO., the social enterprise soap brand, is taking a new approach to business, calling on competitors and UK employers to take a stand when it comes to recruitment. 1 in 5 people living in the UK are disabled and an estimated 48% are unemployed – that’s over one million job-seekers looking for opportunities and a […]

Social value support package for social enterprises

Organisations with a well communicated social purpose build stronger relationships – with employees, clients, funders and investors, suppliers and the wider community alike. Building social value builds your bottom line. We are excited to be partnering with Inspiring Women Changemakers (IWC) to offer ten eligible UK-based social enterprises a package of support to identify, build […]

Tips for getting started in social enterprise

I was delighted to be involved in judging applications for the inaugural Social Entrepreneur Index earlier this year – it’s always great to see more people join the social enterprise community, committed to running their businesses for the good of people and planet. I know it can be a daunting prospect for those just starting […]

Executives schooled on South Africa’s education challenges

Top executives from some of South Africa’s most prominent companies traded their usual routine of boardroom meetings for classroom lessons when they participated in the one-of-a-kind Execs Back 2 School event in Cape Town and Johannesburg this month. The event, organised by  Symphonia for South Africa (SSA), was created to expose business leaders to the […]

Introduction of new lower fee tier

In our effort to provide a comprehensive pathway to support social enterprises of all sizes to meet recognised standards of good practice and excellence, we have introduced a new lower fee tier for smaller organisations. Social enterprises with a turnover of under £100k will now pay just £250+VAT for the Social Enterprise Mark annual licence […]

True Leaders film project

True Leaders; A film project exploring authenticity and ethics in leadership Tim Segaller is a leadership coach and mindfulness trainer, who recently ran a workshop at the Social Enterprise Mark CIC Conference on resilient leadership in social enterprise. He is currently making a short film exploring authenticity and ethics in leadership, and is looking for subjects […]

Reflections from Santander

By Rachel Fell, Business Development Manager Buenos Dias! Hola, me llama Rachel Fell. Which, translated to English is … Good Day! Hello, my name is Rachel Fell. This is about the extent of the Spanish I managed to speak during my presentation at the Social Enterprise and Sustainable Development Goals conference a few weeks ago […]

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 franchise 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 […]

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 […]