Social enterprises mean business at House of Commons


Champions of the social enterprise movement descended on the House of Commons to launch the fourth year of the £1billion Buy Social Corporate Challenge.

Devised by Social Enterprise UK – the membership body for the sector – the campaign lobbies major corporates with HQs in the City and across the country to introduce firms with a social remit into their procurement strategy.

Having started with seven corporate partners in 2016, the campaign now boasts 15 major household names as affiliates, and has recently recruited the likes of Nationwide and construction firm Willmott Dixon.

Some 250 social firms have supplied the 15 corporate partners in the last year.

news london
SEUK chair Lord Victor Adebowale CBE address guests at the House of Commons

SEUK chair Lord Victor Adebowale CBE took the opportunity to remind guests – comprising corporate representatives, social entrepreneurs and prospective new partners – that social enterprises contribute more to the public purse than the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook.

“Everyone here is part of something that will change the face of business,” he added. “Social enterprise is the fastest growing force of commerce in the UK, and the 11th largest contributor in tax.”

There are approximately 100,000 social enterprises contributing £60bn to the economy, employing nearly two million people.

So far partner corporates have spent £65million with social enterprises under the campaign, and Lord Victor says he wants to see that tally doubled in the next 12 months.

Lord Victor also reiterated that social enterprises are a natural breeding ground for innovation.

“Social enterprises do something that not all businesses do, but that all firms must; and that is creating diverse leadership.

“Creating diverse leadership creates better decisions, and that in itself creates better business.”