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UK’s first Social Saturday launched to boost social enterprises



The UK’s first Social Saturday – a national awareness day to build the profile of social enterprises – was launched on Wednesday by an event at the House of Commons.

On September 13, Social Saturday will encourage British consumers to use their spending power to support businesses whose only mission is to achieve positive social impacts. 

A 2013 industry survey from Social Enterprise UK found that many people are not aware of the existence of social enterprises, even though around 70,000 are operating in Britain today. 

With support from the Cabinet Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Social Saturday will work to change that.

At Wednesday’s event, speakers urged MPs to get behind the event, and encourage their constituents to “buy social”.

Business minister Jo Swinson said, “Social enterprises across the country bring huge benefits to their local communities, their employees and the environment.

“What we all want to see are businesses acting as a force for good, creating jobs and helping build a stronger, more sustainable economy. Social enterprises take this a step further by reinvesting their profits for the good of society.”

Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK, added, “The UK’s social enterprise movement is growing fast because people do care about how their spending affects the world around them. 

“We want to give consumers the opportunity to find businesses that are driven by a social mission, not a money mission, and are dedicated to improving local communities.”

Social enterprises hoping to take part can download a campaign pack to help promote the event. Social Saturday’s newly launched website also showcases a variety of social enterprises, ranging from a beer brand that donates all profits to cancer research to a car sharing scheme.

The latest figures from the Royal Bank of Scotland’s SE100 index, which tracks the performance of social enterprises, show they raised £2.9 billion last year for a vast range of worthy causes.

Photo: Social Enterprise UK via Flickr

Further reading:

Social enterprise: Politicians launch Social Saturday awareness day

Support for social enterprises as Labour reveals plans for shakeup of public contracts

Social enterprises and co-ops urged to unite in crowdfunded lobbying campaign

Leisure social enterprises ‘serious competitors’ for private firms

Social enterprises generate £2.7 billion to plough back into society