A new UK-wide survey, conducted to coincide with Social Saturday, has revealed that the public have an appetite and appreciation for socially responsible businesses.
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Social enterprises are businesses that have a mission to tackle social and environmental issues and will reinvest profits in order to achieve their aims. Social Saturday, which takes place on 13 September, celebrates these organisations and is designed to boost awareness.
MP Brooks Newmark, minister for civil society, said, “A staggering 82% of social enterprises reinvest their profits locally and Social Saturday is an opportunity for people across the country to explore the breadth of his vibrant and growing sector.
“There is clearly a demand for people to buy social and there are now more ways then ever for people to invest socially as well.”
The survey found that over a third of people feel ashamed when buying products or services from a business that they feel is socially irresponsible. As demand for businesses that consider their social and environmental impact increase, 40% state they feel there are not enough businesses that meet these expectations.
The findings show that Brits value businesses with a strong ethical and community focus and that businesses can benefit from having an ambitious socially responsibility strategy. Almost three quarters of participants said they are less likely to buy from a business that pays below the minimum wage and 73% said they are less likely to buy from a business that damages the environment.
Peter Holbrook, Social Enterprise UK’s chief executive, commented, “Every product and service you buy has a social or environmental impact, so why not make it a good one?
“The UK’s social enterprise sector is growing fast because consumers care about how their spending decisions affect the world they live in.”
Photo: Damien Cugley via Flickr