Yesterday saw the annual celebration of “Social Enterprise Day” and it was great to be involved and get the opportunity to recognise the steps that have been taken to improve the standing Social Enterprise organisations have within the wider business community.
After attending Social Enterprise UK’s APPG on Social Enterprise: Buy Social Breakfast at the House of Commons, I thought I would share with you some of my key take aways…
It’s all about balance
Previous years on Social Enterprise Day would see Social Enterprise organisations get together and be in a position where they were “preaching to the converted”. This year? Well this year I estimate the attendance split was 45% Social Enterprise, 45% Business/Corporates & 10% Politicians.
This evolution shows just how far Social Enterprises have come in being recognized and embraced by business and politicians who themselves are looking to understand just how they can embed Social Enterprises and social practices into their own businesses.
Actions speak louder than words
What better way to start Social Enterprise Day than to see it launched at parliament and gain the backing of the Speaker of the House and Hazel Blears.
But as we know actions speak louder than words and the speakers words were well and truly backed up by parliaments own action to embrace Social Enterprises by living and breathing “Buy Social”.
This has been seen through the incorporation of Social Enterprises into their procurement processes including Belu Water, an organisation itself that was backed by CAN’s corporate engagement programme and received funds channeled through CAN’s Breakthrough venture philanthropy fund.
Build it and they will come
During the event Jo Swinson spoke about the positive impact of Social Enterprises on the economy both in terms of employment but gross value add as well.
Know your true value
But it’s not all about procurement it’s also about individual organisations being aware of their own Social Value.
It was great to see Landmarc who worked with CAN take to the stage with Kate Markey sharing their insight following the recent Impact report which not only allows Landmarc to make intangible value tangible but, how the insights will help shape their future strategic decisions.
For me, yesterday saw the great strides Social Enterprise organisations have made. It’s great to see so many not only recognized but understood and truly valued.
These in-roads have been made with business partners seeking to create a more social business world. I can only imagine the scale that can be achieved as the business community recognises the competitive advantage that can be achieved by responding more fully to current consumer pull.
For me the key message remains “Buy Social”.