‘Buying social’ is being promoted to businesses this Christmas to support Britain’s Social Enterprises.
These organisations reinvest their profits for good to deliver on their social or environmental mission, which might be getting homeless people off the streets, creating jobs for young people with autism or reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill.
Social Enterprise UK has launched the Christmas Gift Guide, which features gifts for him, for her, for children and for colleagues. The products include handmade luxury chocolates, footballs, socks, wallets, jewellery, luxury notebooks, prints for the home and mugs.
The guide can be shared with teams and colleagues across a business, who can use their spending power to transform lives this Christmas. Those getting on board include a pioneering group of businesses who are taking part in the Buy Social Corporate Challenge – a ground-breaking initiative which will see the firms aim to spend £1 billion with social enterprises by 2020.
Part of the Challenge involves raising awareness about the benefits of buying from social enterprises amongst employees. The founding partners of the Corporate Challenge are Interserve, Johnson & Johnson, PwC, RBS Group, Santander, Wates, and Zurich.
Peter Holbrook CBE, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK, said:
“With the festive season approaching there us a real opportunity for businesses to think about the impact of their spending decisions.
This guide is ideal for corporate gifts – and when you buy from a social enterprise you’re getting a quality product, which comes wrapped in goodness and social impact.
“What’s more, this spend is money that businesses are spending anyway – it doesn’t just make moral sense, it makes business sense too.”
Hugh Chamberlain, Corporate Social Responsibility Head, Johnson & Johnson, said:
“At Johnson & Johnson we are committed to raising the profile of social enterprises to enable them to grow and create more social impact. We’ve already pledged £15 million of our procurement spend with the sector by 2020 and are a founding partner on the Buy Social Corporate Challenge. The new Christmas guide is full of products for people of all ages, each one with an inspirational story behind it. We’ll be urging our employees to make the most of it.”
Dave Oates, Group Supply Chain Director, Wates Group, said:
“As one of the UK’s leading construction companies, Wates is passionate about working with social enterprises, bringing them into our supply chains and buying from them wherever possible. It is our ambition to have a social enterprise working on every one of our projects and to spend £20m with the social enterprise sector by 2020. This gift guide shows that buying social extends beyond the construction site and into our everyday lives. It’s a great way to engage all of our employees who can support the life-changing work carried out by social enterprises.”
Social enterprises in the gift guide – available to view at www.socialenterprise.org.uk – include:
Harry Specters – Chocolate
Award winning chocolates made by a social enterprise which creates employment opportunities for young people with autism. They are involved in every aspect of the business – from making and packaging the products to administration, design and photography.
Global Seesaw – Clothing and Jewellery
Global Seesaw seeks to make and see transformation, especially for women exploited by human trafficking and prostitution around the world. It does this through creating freedom from exploitation through sustainable employment. All profits are reinvested to bring greater change.
Change Please – Coffee
Change Please empower homeless people in the UK with the skills, equipment and speciality beans they need to become fully-fledged baristas so they can serve coffee that tastes good, and does good too. This can be accomplished with this barista training course.
Bella Kinesis – Yoga gear
For every item sold, Bella Kinesis provides one month’s business education for a woman in rural India through its partnership with the Mann Deshi Foundation. The Foundation teaches women crafts, accountancy and management skills so they can become self-sufficient.
Soap Co – Luxury soaps
The Soap Co. is part of CLARITY, the oldest social enterprise in the UK, which was founded in 1854 to employ, train and support people with disabilities. It currently employs more than 100 blind, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged people across the country and every soap purchase creates social impact for its staff.
Studio 306 – ceramics
Studio 306 is an arts studio, based in London, where mental health recovery is aided through the creative process. Working with local disadvantaged individuals, the studio offers teaching, mentoring and access to an equipped studio space across four disciplines of ceramics, textiles, screen printing and Sterling Silver jewellery making.