What is the Social Enterprise Mark?
The recognised standard of good practice for social enterprises
Prove your credibility
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.
Articulate your social impact
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).
Differentiate from competitors
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
Approved social enterprise status
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.
Get noticed as an approved social enterprise creating social impact
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).
Gain useful feedback
Our assessment feedback service* enables you to recognise how your organisation complies with the best practice criteria defined by the Social Enterprise Mark, and provides considerations for future development. This helps to improve your organisation’s efficiency and effectiveness as a social enterprise.
*Feedback is given after initial applications and 3 yearly full reviews
Demonstrate good practice in social enterprise
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.
How do I apply?
Register your interest
Complete our short Registration Form and we will be in touch within 2 working days to discuss the next steps.
Find out more
Click here to find out more about what’s involved in the assessment process.
How much does it cost?
Hear what others have to say
“Symphonia for South Africa is proud to be the first social enterprise on the African continent to receive the Social Enterprise Mark and we have committed ourselves to encouraging other social enterprises to distinguish themselves by applying for the Mark.”
“The Social Enterprise Mark a statement of quality in general, it’s about what we do… It has helped us to work through our outcomes, through the process of re-accreditation. We had to think it through as a board and team and we clarified our overall policy and strategy.”
“The Big Issue was set up to find a business solution to the social crisis of homelessness. We are proud to be a social enterprise, proud to be part of a movement and the Social Enterprise Mark tells our readers just that.”
“The Social Enterprise Mark has been a fundamental part of Cosmic’s brand identity for well over a decade now, and it has proved a highly effective way to promote to the world our social impact credentials. Cosmic’s commitment to social enterprise remains as strong as ever, and the Mark acts as a regular reminder for all stakeholders – staff, Directors, partners and clients.”