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 society by mobilising business, government and civil society to work collaboratively towards addressing the educational challenges facing the country. It becomes the sixth organisation outside of the UK to be awarded the Social Enterprise Mark in recognition of a commitment to trading for the benefit of people and planet.
SSA joins a growing international network, including global Fairtrade certification body FLOCERT, social enterprise support agency C3 in the United Arab Emirates, and the Fairtrade Network of Asia and Pacific Producers (NAPP).
Following a three-fold increase in international applications within 2 years, Social Enterprise Mark CIC has a proven assessment process that can be applied anywhere in the world. In addition, the organisation offers an international consultancy service to advise global counterparts looking to set up similar accreditation schemes for social enterprise within their own countries. Following a consultancy project with the Russian Foundation, Fund our Future, in 2015, which led to development of a Russian Social Enterprise Mark, Social Enterprise Mark CIC completed a similar piece of work for the British Council in China in 2016, advising on the development of a Chinese social enterprise accreditation system.
SSA implements programmes that contribute towards social cohesion and large-scale social change in South Africa by providing a structure in which active citizens can meaningfully contribute to improving education for all children. Through flagship project Partners for Possibility (PfP), SSA promotes and facilitates leadership development opportunities for business leaders, school principals and their school management teams.
“We are very proud to be joining an international community of accredited social enterprises.” says Louise van Rhyn, founder of SSA. “We were impressed by the robust accreditation process and were thrilled when we received the news that we have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark – we will forever remember this as a milestone moment in our journey.
“It feels good to be the first social enterprise from Africa to receive the Social Enterprise Mark. We hope that many others will follow as social enterprise is without any doubt part of the solution to social challenges in Africa.”
Lucy Findlay, Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark CIC, added: “We are delighted to welcome SSA to our growing network of international Mark holders. We are particularly excited, as this represents another milestone for us in our international expansion, being the first Social Enterprise Mark to be awarded in the African continent.
“We now accredit organisations in Europe, Asia and Africa, and have bold ambitions to further develop our position as the global champion of credible standards for social enterprise. We are world pioneers of social enterprise accreditation; ours was the first Mark of this kind for social enterprises and is the only internationally available accreditation for social enterprises.”