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Place Category: Business Services and Impact Measurement

More Info
Social Impact Declaration
Social Impact Statements
  • Social Enterprise Mark CIC is the accreditation body responsible for assessing applications for the Social Enterprise Mark and Social Enterprise Gold Mark. We ensure the social enterprise business model remains ethical, credible and commercial through accreditation.

    We are not a membership body and approval is not automatic: around 30% of organisations applying or interested in the Social Enterprise Mark are assessed as ineligible. Existing Mark holders’ eligibility is also reassessed on an annual basis, to ensure they still meet the criteria.

    This robust accreditation process enables organisations that are awarded the Social Enterprise Mark/Gold Mark to stand out from the crowd, as proven social enterprises which are independently guaranteed to be trading for people and planet.

    Make it easy for your customers to see you deliver social value – get assessed for the Social Enterprise Mark and prove your social enterprise credentials.

  • Address: Unit 40a HQ Building, 237 Union Street
    PL1 3HQ
    United Kingdom
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  • Social Impact Statements:

    Social Impact Statements

    The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.

    In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders must submit Social Impact Statements that summarise their headline activities and achievements, helping show how they are striving to make a difference and stand up to scrutiny of purpose as a social enterprise.


    Updated September 2017

    1) Assuring the social enterprise business model remains ethical, credible and commercial through accreditation

    • Providing robust independent social enterprise accreditation services:
      • Providing and developing a clear standard for the social enterprise sector, which is currently unregulated
      • defining what it means to be a social enterprise
      • Providing a quality benchmark for social enterprises (Social Enterprise Gold Mark excellence framework) and encouraging social enterprises to build their capabilities in line with best practice; providing a route for continual service improvement
    • Providing advice and sharing expertise (free of charge) to new start-ups and fledgling social enterprises, to support them to develop in order to qualify for accreditation
    • Supporting social enterprises to be commercially sustainable and create impact:
      • Promoting the services of Mark holders to international business network and encouraging social enterprises to work in partnership to create increased impact
      • Developed tools, available online, to help Mark holders articulate their social value to public sector commissioners, and to explain the accreditation to commissioners and how this can help them identify providers that are committed to delivering added social value, thereby supporting them to develop an outcomes based approach to commissioning
      • Helping Mark holders consistently articulate their social value and transparently communicate this through online directory, visited by c.500 visitors each month
      • Enabling social enterprise to communicate their social enterprise ethos to generate business, by providing a recognisable ‘badge’ that customers can look for to identify credible social enterprises that are proven to be trading for the good of people and planet
      • Acting as a partner in EU co-funded ERASMUS Social Up programme to develop tools for social enterprises to improve their businesses planning skills
    • Embedding social enterprise within our supply chain – we use social enterprises for goods and services wherever possible
      • In 2015/16 we spent over £20,000 with social enterprises
    • Engaging new sectors in social enterprise to broaden the reach of the social enterprise business model:
      • Higher Education Institutions
      • Internationally


    2) How our services benefit the social enterprise sector

    The majority of respondents to the 2016 Social Enterprise Mark CIC stakeholder survey believe that the Social Enterprise Mark/Gold Mark enables them to demonstrate their credibility as a genuine, independently assessed social enterprise. It also helps them to start conversations around their social enterprise ethos, enabling them to communicate their values to both internal and external stakeholders. This helps Mark holders distinguish themselves from competitors.

    It is also largely felt that the Social Enterprise Mark is a positive influence on the UK social enterprise sector, although this is not yet widely established at an international level.

    96% of respondents said that  the Mark helps them to communicate the significance of being a social enterprise to employees and other stakeholders.

    79% of respondents said that the Mark is important in helping distinguish them  from other social businesses, by showing they submit to the scrutiny of accreditation, which helps prove and ensure they fulfill commitments as a social enterprise.

    73% of respondents said that the Mark acts as a worthwhile and useful influence in the UK social enterprise sector.
    Stakeholder survey quote


    3) Creating value for social enterprises

    We offer a subsidised rate for Social Enterprise Mark/Gold Mark holders attending our annual conference, to enable them to access valuable networking and peer learning opportunities, which can support the development and growth of their social enterprise. This is also a further opportunity for us to share expertise and advice/resources.

    For our 2016 and 2017 conferences, the total value of this subsidy was £3,288.