Embed social enterprise into your institution

Transform the way you are perceived by students and stakeholders and position yourself as an institution driven by social objectives

More than ever before, students and graduates are seeking employment and lifestyles that enable them to contribute to the social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of their communities, society and the planet.

This presents an opportunity for university leaders who choose to put ethics, civic engagement, social and environmental justice and sustainable economic development at the heart of their strategic plans and student experience…

… By gaining Social Enterprise Mark/Social Enterprise Gold Mark accreditation you can demonstrate your sustainable and ethical business credentials to the next generation of applicants.

The accreditation demonstrates to students how you apply in practice the values and knowledge that are taught, and how students can be part of a social enterprise culture.

Professor Karen Stanton

York St John University is delighted and honoured to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Gold Mark. This much-coveted accreditation is only given to those organisations who can demonstrate they are making a real difference to their community and the environment.

“We found the whole experience of applying for the Social Enterprise Gold Mark to be immensely beneficial for the University. As with many audits, the opportunity to step back, take stock and really analyse what we were doing was very valuable.

Professor Karen StantonVice-Chancellor, York St John University

Benefits of Social Enterprise Mark accreditation


Stand out from competitors

Support student recruitment by standing out as a university committed to creating benefits for people and planet


Join an exclusive network of like-minded HEIs, which are all committed to embedding social enterprise within their institutions

International recognition

The Social Enterprise Mark is an internationally recognised symbol of social enterprise credibility. Social Enterprise Mark CIC work with international partners to raise the global profile of social enterprise


The robust assessment process is overseen by an independent Certification Panel. Not everyone can achieve the Mark, which adds to the credibility of successful applicants

Additional benefits of Gold Mark accreditation


Proof of excellence

Demonstrate excellence in key business areas, such as governance, ethics, and financial transparency

Tailored action plan

Individually tailored action plan for continuous improvement, in line with Social Enterprise Gold Mark guidelines of best practice


Show the people that matter – staff, students, applicants and partners – how you govern and operate your institution to create social and environmental benefit

Setting benchmarks

Measure how far your institution has come and where you want to go in the future, including developing social impact/value goals. Build on what’s unique about your institution

Get your application started today

Firstly, complete this short form to register your interest. We will then be in touch within two working days to find out some more details about your institution and to discuss the assessment process.

Alternatively you can contact us on 0345 504 6536 or via email.

Hear what university Mark holders have to say

Colette Fletcher

“I just want to say what a pleasure the experience of applying for the Social Enterprise Gold Mark has been. I don’t think we could possibly have anticipated at the start of the process just how beneficial it would be to our thinking.

Colette FletcherAssistant Vice-Chancellor, University of Winchester