Campaign to help businesses work with social enterprises launched

The 50 in 250 campaign aims to secure a pledge from 50 companies to do business with at least five certified social enterprises within 250 days. It has been developed to encourage businesses to recognise how their procurement could deliver substantial and innovative ethical benefit, while delivering to their overall commercial objectives.
Gordon Morris, Chair of the Social Enterprise Mark Company said: “We are very excited to be launching a campaign which directly supports business to achieve positive benefit to their communities through their commercial activity. 50 in 250 will deliver a step change in the social enterprise sector by encouraging, and supporting, large businesses to integrate social enterprises into their supply chain.
It is time for greater recognition of the power of social enterprise to realise benefits for business and our communities alike. Age UK Enterprises, as a supporter of this campaign, will be encouraging customers and partners to sign up.”
Sophie Hulm, Corporate Responsibility Manager at the City of London commented: “With the support of City business, the economic and social impacts delivered by social enterprises could be immense.  City businesses want to procure more ethically, but there is a common misconception that social enterprises do not provide the goods and services that are required.
That’s why the new ‘City Buyer’s Directory of Certified Social Enterprises’, which accompanies the campaign, is so important. To give an indication of the potential market, research shows that City buyers spend over £2 billion on products and services annually, which could in their opinion, be provided by small and medium sized enterprises e.g. events and seminars, public relations, print and publishing. With many social enterprises also providing these types of services, City buyers have a huge opportunity to create additional social impact.”
Businesses that get involved with this campaign will be differentiated as leaders and innovators in promoting social enterprises.  It will prove their support and commitment to quantifiable Corporate Social Responsibility by integrating the Social Enterprise Mark’s social and environmental credentials, as well as stimulating more business between Social Enterprise Mark holders with private and public sector organisations.
The 50in250 campaign for businesses complements the Society Profits campaign focusing on influencing consumer buying habits, recently launched by Social Enterprise UK.
The Social Enterprise company awards the Social Enterprise Mark to those business who benefit the community by trading for both people and planet and re-invest profits into that purpose.
Consequently, the positive affect that these businesses have on the customer and organisation should not be overlooked, particularly with threats of a double dip recession looming. The Mark ensures that a social enterprise is recognised for the positive impact they bring to society.