Entries by Sophie Butland

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 […]

Bigger and better bookshop opens in Ludlow

A well known book shop in Ludlow has moved into bigger and better premises. The book shop run by The Furniture Scheme, which used to be housed in a room at the back of Renaissance in Tower Street, is popular for classic books and, at times, extremely rare books too. It has moved across the […]

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 […]

New face at The Furniture Scheme

A charity in Ludlow has taken on a new member of staff who will be getting to know the people of south Shropshire over the coming months. Justin Griffiths has started as the community engagement and volunteer support worker for The Furniture Scheme this week. He replaces Chris Perkins (who has retired), will be responsible for […]

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 […]

Shropshire charity celebrates its achievements with local MP

A Shropshire charity has relaunched a financial fund and fundraising scheme at their annual celebration event. The Furniture Scheme, based in Ludlow, welcomed MP Philip Dunne, Minister of State for Health, as guest speaker at the celebration which saw a rebranded fund aimed at supporting people on low incomes to improve their job prospects revealed. […]

Merry Christmas from all the team at Social Enterprise Mark CIC

As we approach the end of another year, we wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! As a small social enterprise ourselves, we know this year hasn’t been without it’s challenges, and we appreciate the continued commitment of our network of accredited social enterprises to proving […]

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 […]

From one charitable donation to another

It’s not something you hear every day – a charity in South Shropshire has handed over a cheque for more than £1,500 to another charity. The Furniture Scheme, which supports local people in crisis or in need, has honoured its commitment to give Severn Hospice 10% of the first year earnings made at its charity […]

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 […]

Shropshire charity launches its first calendar

A Shropshire charity has launched a new fine art calendar – featuring a donated wooden chair. The Furniture Scheme, based in Ludlow, commissioned local photographer Nigel Bishop, who has spent months capturing images of the chair in unexpected locations across south Shropshire. The charity, which recieved donations of unwanted furniture, is well known for repairing, […]

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 […]

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 […]

DIY-SOS style shake up at Shropshire community centre

A £5,000 mini DIY SOS style event has seen changing rooms transformed at a Shropshire community centre. Twenty workers have donated their time and resources to upgrade the facilities at Craven Arms Sports and Community Centre (CASCA) in Newington Way. Representatives for Willmott Dixon have spent a week there fitting new flooring, shower fittings, tiling […]

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 […]

Shropshire charity wheelie excited to offer bikes

A charity in south Shropshire best known for furniture is getting on it’s bike. Literally. The Warehouse on Weeping Cross Lane, Ludlow, run by the Furniture Scheme, will start selling refurbished bikes this week, after being donated a large amount of cycling equipment and teaming up with industry experts. Operations manager James Cooper said: “We […]

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 […]

Work to improve nursery completed after £10,000 grant

Work to create a new play area for children and groups in south Shropshire has now been completed thanks to a £10,000 grant. The Furniture Scheme, based in Ludlow, has installed the open space at CASCA (Community Arts Sports Craven Arms) Nursery – and they are now looking for more volunteers to help with the […]

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 […]

Hundreds raised for south Shropshire charity at garden event

Hundreds of pounds has been raised for a south Shropshire charity and potential new regular donors found, thanks to an annual garden event. The small garden event in Ludlow earlier this month collected £600 for The Furniture Scheme and organisers said it helped raise the profile of the charity too – with people interested in joining the […]

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 […]

New Head of Commercial and Social Enterprise plans to turnover a New Leaf at BCHA

BCHA, the Bournemouth-based specialist housing and support provider, has announced the appointment of Dominic Ellison as the Head of Commercial and Social Enterprise at group member and Social Enterprise Mark holder The New Leaf Company, based at The Factory on Alder Hills in Poole, Dorset. Dominic’s role combines developing The Factory to become a co-working […]

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 […]

NatWest WISE100 highlights women’s leading role in social enterprise sector

Nominations for the first NatWest WISE100 (Women in Social Enterprise) have recently opened to recognise 100 leading women in social enterprise. Created by the NatWest SE100 Index, the WISE100 highlights the leading role of women in the social enterprise sector. The social enterprise sector outperforms other sectors when it comes to gender equality, with 40% […]

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 […]

Vote for your winner in Making a Mark competition

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 Making a Mark competition highlights examples of how accredited social enterprises are creating considerable social impact within their local communities and in wider society and […]

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 […]

Connection Crew’s new premises marks commitment to supporting people out of homelessness

Social Enterprise Mark holder Connection Crew is moving its London base to Brixton, consolidating its operations to accommodate commercial growth and an expanding social agenda. The crewing company that has won industry awards for its professionalism is also a social enterprise. It works with people who’ve had a history of homelessness, providing them with training […]

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 […]

Is the Shared Society all ‘Motherhood and Apple Pie’?

Theresa May’s recent announcement of a ‘Shared Society’, after all the fuss about the Big Society when it was launched, has been greeted with a healthy degree of scepticism, but it is worth having a look at the finer detail and trains of thought that lie within the speech.  Much of it is ‘motherhood and […]

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 […]

Fusion21 Wins CIPS Supply Management Award

Social Enterprise Scoops ‘Best Contribution to the Reputation of Procurement’ Accolade Social Enterprise Mark holder Fusion21 has won the ‘Best Contribution to the Reputation of Procurement’ category in the prestigious Chartered Institute of Procurement (CIPS) Supply Management Awards 2016. The awards, which are respected as a benchmark for excellence, and honour UK organisations and individuals working […]

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 […]

Open Doors Scotland wins ERSA ‘Partnership of the Year’ Award

Open Doors Scotland, a consortium of Scotland’s six leading providers of employability services for people with disabilities and long term conditions, is celebrating winning ‘Partnership of the Year’ at the ERSA Employability Awards 2016 in London. The Open Doors partnership includes Social Enterprise Mark holder The Lennox Partnership. The UK-wide award was given in recognition of the […]

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 […]

Fusion21 Shortlisted in CIPS Supply Management Awards 2016

Social Enterprise Nominated in ‘Best Contribution to the Reputation of Procurement’ category Social Enterprise Mark holder and procurement organisation Fusion21 has made the shortlist in the Chartered Institute of Procurement (CIPS) Supply Management Awards 2016. Announced as a finalist in the ‘Best Contribution to the Reputation of Procurement’ category, Fusion21 is one of two organisations nominated […]

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 […]

Fusion21 Invests £200,000 in Big Issue Invest Scheme

Social Enterprise Mark holder Fusion21 has recently partnered with fellow Mark holder Big Issue Invest – investing £200,000 in its Corporate Social Venturing (CSV) programme, which provides mentoring and financial support to early stage social businesses across the UK. The initiative, run by Big Issue Invest – the social investment arm of The Big Issue […]

All hands on deck for Dementia Awareness

Social Enterprise Mark holder John Taylor Hospice’s month-long campaign for dementia awareness came to an end this week. Here are the highlights. Several local businesses joined forces at the beginning of May to support John Taylor Hospice in becoming more dementia-friendly. The hospice’s campaign coincided with a nationwide effort to shine the spotlight on dementia care […]

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 […]

Dying Matters Awareness Week

Join John Taylor Hospice for Dying Matters Awareness Week Social Enterprise Gold Mark holder John Taylor Hospice has joined with a group of other local hospices, doctors, hospitals, charities, arts organisations and businesses to hold events across Birmingham during Dying Matters Awareness Week (9th – 15th May). The hospice is asking local people to share their hopes and […]

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 […]

“It’s my refuge, where I find peace”

A patient’s view of John Taylor Hospice Victoria Rawnsley from Great Barr describes the lasting impact of her stays at John Taylor Hospice’s In-Patient Unit. Victoria is on her third visit to Social Enterprise Gold Mark holder John Taylor Hospice after meeting the In-Patient Unit team for the first time in January. The 45 year old […]

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 […]

Applications to become Supply Shack’s new charity partner now open

Social Enterprise Mark holder Supply Shack is now welcoming applications from charities interested in becoming their new charity partner, to work together make a positive impact on the local community. Supply Shack is a social enterprise supplying office products and services, specialising in office supplies, design, branded merchandise, print, signage, and exhibition stands. The company is committed to […]

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 […]

Life Echo project helps cancer patient to recall lost memories

Social Enterprise Gold Mark holder John Taylor Hospice is using sound therapy to support patients at end of life. Staff at the hospice have added an innovative well-being project, called Life Echo, to the mix of activities and care services already offered to day hospice visitors. Through a series of one-to-one sessions, participants are encouraged to share […]

Failure, the secret to success

By Des Day, MD and Founder of Supply Shack I was asked to give a talk to 500 school children on 7th March at Ferndown Middle School in Dorset on the subject of “Failure”.  These kids ranged from 9 years to 14 years.  At first I thought these kids surely won’t be subject to failure on any […]

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 […]

What is community resilience and how do you measure it?

By Kate Pierpoint, Deputy Chief Executive of Manor House Development Trust There is no universally agreed definition of community resilience. However, it is broadly described as ‘the capacity of an individual or community to withstand and recover from adverse change’. The challenge in defining community resilience is deciding what we mean by change and what we […]

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 […]

Fusion21 among winners of first Cabinet Office Social Value Awards

Social Enterprise Mark holder Fusion21 has won the ‘Driving Value for Money’ category in the first Cabinet Office Social Value Awards. The awards – which recognise and celebrate best practice in commissioning and providing social value – were announced at the third Social Value Summit, on Thursday 11th February in London. Shortlisted alongside Gloucestershire County Council […]

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 […]

Free Forest School Training Taster Sessions

Ever wondered what happens in a Forest School session? Interested in learning more about becoming a Forest School practitioner for both children and adults? Come along to Social Enterprise Mark holder nature workshops’ free Forest School Training Taster Sessions to experience some of the unique aspects of a Forest School session: make things out of natural materials, […]

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 […]

‘We all deserve clean air’: UK communities take action against air pollution

From January 2016, UK communities will be able to work together to measure air pollution on their streets. This crowdfunded initiative is being set up by Social Enterprise Mark holder Mapping for Change, based at University College London. Community groups of all ages and abilities will collect air quality information using simple but reliable equipment. […]

Join Social Enterprise Mark Certification Panel

Following the recent departure of a couple of our founding members, Social Enterprise Mark CIC is currently seeking people to join the independent Certification Panel, which oversees the assessment of applications for the Social Enterprise Mark. The Panel’s role is to advise on the interpretation of the Mark criteria, evidence requirements, and other factors that contribute […]

Big Issue Invest Supports Next Wave of Top Social Entrepreneurs

Social Enterprise Mark holder Big Issue Invest has revealed the social businesses who have successfully secured investment through its Corporate Social Venturing (CSV) Programme.  CSV is an innovative business support and investment initiative that facilitates growth and development among organisations that are using business solutions to remedy some of society’s biggest challenges throughout the country. This year, […]

Going global with social enterprise accreditation

Following on from my post in September, looking at how the Social Enterprise Mark differs from other accreditation/certification schemes, it occurred to me that a key differentiator for us is the international aspect. The Social Enterprise Mark is the only internationally available social enterprise accreditation, enabling credible social enterprises to prove that they are making a difference. […]

Social Enterprise Mark CIC Stakeholder Impact Report 2015

Many thanks to all Social Enterprise Mark holders and other stakeholders that participated in our online survey and follow up telephone interviews earlier this year, conducted on our behalf by Gareth Hart at Iridescent Ideas. We have now analysed the responses and are pleased to publish our Stakeholder Impact Summary Report, summarising the impact that Social Enterprise Mark […]

Pluss CEO responds to the recently published Work & Pensions Committee report on the Work Programme

By Steve Hawkins, CEO of Pluss The Parliamentary Work and Pensions Committee have just published their report on the Work Programme after interviewing a series of expert witnesses and taking a mountain of evidence. Their report is clear-sighted, far-reaching, and unanimous. The report makes clear that a mainstream, one size fits all Work Programme is not working […]

Chocolate Films’ Rachel Wang named Entrepreneur of the Year

Rachel Wang, co-founder and Director of Social Enterprise Mark holder Chocolate Films was recently awarded the honour of the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Black British Business Awards 2015. The awards celebrate exceptional performance and outstanding achievements of black people in businesses operating in the UK. Rachel was inspired to create her production company Chocolate […]

Prestious double award success for Gateway Family Services CIC

Social Enterprise Mark holder Gateway Family Services CIC is celebrating after winning two prestigious awards this week. On Tuesday they won a Three Year Health and Wellbeing award from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). This meant they were put forward for the prestigious Health Ministers Award… and yesterday, they won that too! The RSPH Three Year Health and […]

Good Money Week 18th – 24th October

By Isabelle De Grave, Charity Bank  (originally posted on Charity Bank blog on 1st October 2015) The most important week for the Good Money campaign is fast approaching. Here’s what it’s all about. Good Money Week, 18th – 24th October 2015, is an opportunity to ensure those you trust with your money are looking after […]

University graduate walks social enterprise tightrope

An Outdoor Adventure Education graduate from Social Enterprise Mark Holder the University of St Mark & St John has taken an exciting adventure into a social enterprise in the slacklining industry. Ben Hughes, 26, from Colchester in Essex, graduated in Outdoor Adventure Education in 2013, and is now running a successful social enterprise, which was founded in his Third […]

Social Enterprise Lecture Series Autumn 2015

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 13th October, with a lecture from John O’Shea on ‘The Power of Social Entrepreneurs’. The series continues throughout October and November, with the […]

£1Million unlocked for good causes by TheGivingMachine

Social Enterprise Mark holder TheGivingMachine was once just an idea between 4 friends; it started as a social enterprise and then became a registered charity last year. Now it has reached a momentous milestone – £1,000,000 has been unlocked for good causes by people shopping on-line via TheGivingMachine, without it costing them a single penny more. […]

Social Enterprise Mark Holders shortlisted for SE100 Awards

Social Enterprise Mark holders BITA Pathways and FRC Group, and Gold Mark holder John Taylor Hospice have been shortlisted for the NatWest SE100 Awards 2015. The winners will win a share of over £32, 000 in prize money that will be awarded at the NatWest SE100 Annual Awards on 19th October 2015, at the Good Deals social investment conference […]

Diary from a whistle-stop tour to Taiwan

During September, I was invited by the Taiwanese government to speak at 2 conferences over 2 days in 2 cities – the capital Taipei and another big city in the centre of the island – Taichung. It was a bit of a whistle stop tour, but ably enhanced by a steep emersion into Taiwanese life from […]

What makes Social Enterprise Mark certification different?

There is often confusion between the various ‘badges’, ‘identifiers’ and ‘certifications’ available to organisations looking to prove their social and ethical credentials, and we are often met with questions about the relationship between the Social Enterprise Mark and other certification schemes. Following the official UK launch event of B Corps last night, which I attended, we thought this may […]

TheGivingMachine Named ‘Most Trusted Social Enterprise’

Social Enterprise Mark holder TheGivingMachine received the award for Most Trusted Social Enterprise at the very first UK Trust Awards. The award was presented to Richard Morris, CEO and Founder of TheGivingMachine, by Roger James Hamilton and Michelle Clarke, Global Partnership Manager at The Entrepreneurs Institute. Expressing his gratitude to those who voted, Richard said: “I’m delighted […]

Act like Amazon or save the Amazon?

By Isabelle De Grave, Charity Bank We can choose to buy from, work for, and even set up companies that have a sense of purpose beyond profit. But how do we spot them? In the digital age, the demand for information, often just a click or a ‘google’ away, is immense. At the same time […]

Hooked on government support…

…from one dependency to another You can’t have failed to notice the high profile fall of Kid’s Company over the last few months.  It reminded me of some of the dangers that can lie in reliance on government contracts for the delivery of public services, which has been repeated as a mantra for the social enterprise […]

Unlimited Potential Recruiting Non-Executive Directors

Social Enterprise Mark Holder Unlimited Potential is recruiting for Non-Executive Directors to join its Board. Unlimited Potential is a social enterprise that exists to make the world a happier and healthier place through social innovation. It was the first organisation in northern England to gain the Social Enterprise Mark, and also holds the Investors in People […]

Have your say on social enterprise in Devon and Somerset

The Heart of the South West LEP is currently conducting a survey of social enterprises across the region, and we encourage all regional Mark Holders to get involved. In order to build a current and accurate picture of social enterprise in the region, the survey is being conducted to establish a baseline of the size, […]