What is the Social Enterprise Mark?

The recognised standard of good practice for social enterprises

Prove your social enterprise credentials with the only internationally available social enterprise accreditation, which enables you to prove you are in business primarily to create benefits for people and planet.

The Social Enterprise Mark is externally assessed and internationally recognised, and provides an independent guarantee that an organisation has met sector-agreed criteria and is operating as a genuine social enterprise, committed to creating positive social change.

It provides clear standards for the social enterprise sector, defining what it means to be a genuine social enterprise.

The Social Enterprise Mark is an independently assessed guarantee of a company’s commitment to trading for the benefit of people and planet.
It provides reassurance to consumers that a company is living up to its social/environmental claims.

What are the benefits?

Prove your social enterprise credentials to customers and stakeholders, by submitting to the scrutiny of a rigorous external assessment process. With annual checks against criteria, you can assure customers/partners that you are operating ethically, commercially and upholding sector-agreed standards.

The Social Enterprise Mark is the only accreditation to independently assess organisations against sector-agreed criteria to provide a guarantee of a commitment to trading for the primary benefit of people and planet. 

We offer tailored support and guidance to applicants and renewing Mark holders in articulating their social impact. We provide detailed guidance in responding to how your organisation meets Criterion F of the Social Enterprise Mark:

Our social impact questions are designed to help you think about the social impact you create, and to communicate this clearly and succinctly. We also create a Social Impact Declaration for all Mark holders, to summarise how you are striving to make a difference and standing up to scrutiny of purpose as a social enterprise. We also publish statements of how you commit to make a difference (social value).

Stand out from competitors, by demonstrating you have been externally scrutinised against robust accreditation criteria, and have proven that your organisation puts people and planet before the interests of shareholders.

Statistics from 2016 Social Enterprise Mark CIC stakeholder survey

4/5 of social enterprises use their social enterprise status in marketing their products and services* – the Social Enterprise Mark helps with this.

Create buyer/partner confidence – displaying the Social Enterprise Mark lets them know you are truly giving back for social good. 

*2017  State of Social Enterprise Report

Get featured in a unique directory that lists only accredited social enterprises and shows their social impact, which is viewed by approx. 400 visitors per month.

Social Enterprise Mark holders have their own profile on the directory, which includes details about the organisation with contact details and links to website and social media channels, as well as evidence of social impact. This will indicate your commitment to social enterprise principles as an approved Mark holder, as well as providing a public statement of how you commit to make a difference (social value).

Promote good practice and leadership in operating as a social enterprise, upholding sector-agreed standards and creating impact for the communities in which you operate and wider society.