Social enterprise field is expanding rapidly all over Europe and biting into a bigger chink of the entire economy at the same time, while addressing issues and providing novel solutions for old and new problems. It is important for social enterprises to be innovative and find niche markets that no one else has thought to get into…but at the same time there is an urgent need for co-operation and mutual support. What social enterprises need to do is get organised and gain more and more credibility as economic actors, and this is where co-operation will create better results than competition that is not something that social entrepreneurship is based on anyway.
We did some research and found a few good projects that are aiming at providing support and recognition for social enterprises and their work on national level. The first one is the “Buy Social” -campaign from the UK that hopes to encourage social entrepreneurs to make their businesses known and support other social businesses through their own activities. The project is coordinated by Social Enterprise UK and this is what they have to say about “Buy Social”:
So what if we could do more, just by doing our thing? We all need to buy or trade with others to serve our communities. Bringing other social enterprises into our supply chains means we can all do a great deal more.
The campaign wants social entrepreneurs in the UK to promote their status as socially valuable businesses and encourages everyone co-operating with other social businesses to use the badge above to boast their status and in this way gain recognition for the entire sector and encourage others to trade with socially conscious businesses.
A similar initiative has also taken off in Finland, where the Organisation for Finnish Employment and Work (Suomalaisen Työn Liitto) are coordinating the initiative. The aim of the Organisation in general is to promote the value and appreciation for Finnish services and products as well as entrepreneurship, and they have for several years provided a badge for businesses that produce their products in Finland and the majority of the resources and materials also come from Finland. The latest product of the organisation is the Badge for Social Entrepreneurs (Yhteiskunnallinen Yritys Merkki) that aims at promoting socially valuable businesses and gain recognition for them in the same way as the original brand is trying to do for Finnish products. The businesses need to fulfill certain requirements after which they can apply the right to use the badge in their marketing and branding from the organisation.
If there is a similar initiative taking place in your country, please leave your comments below and we will try to add more information about them to this page.
Social Enterprise Badge in Finland (in Finnish only)