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What is a Social Enterprise?

Social Enterprises

What is a Social Enterprise?

Social enterprises are businesses who are trying to improve the world. They operate much the same way as traditional businesses, but instead of giving all of their profits to shareholders and investors, they give the money to people who really need it in the world – reinvesting or donating to help with a positive change.

A social enterprise is very much involved in the sale of goods and services to the selected market and has specific ambitions to serve. They are not a volunteer business in that they operate as an enterprise by selling in a market, and can be structured as a for-profit or non-profit business.

Social enterprises are defined as businesses that:

  • Have a clear social and/or environmental mission set out in their documents;
  • Generate most of their income through trade;
  • Reinvest the bulk of their profits;
  • Autonomous of the state;
  • Majority controlled in the interests of the social objective;
  • Accountable and transparent;

Social Responsibility

Social responsibility means that individuals and/or organisations have a duty to act in the best interests of society and their environments. It is the idea that businesses should balance profit-making with helping out society; it contains establishing businesses with a positive communication to the society/area in which they operate.

5 Facts About Social Enterprises

  1. Job creators: 41% of social enterprises created jobs in the past year compared to 22% of SMEs.
  2. It’s all about business: 73% of social enterprises earn more than 75% of their income from trade.
  3. Fair pay: In social enterprises, the average pay ratio between CEO pay and the lowest paid is just 3.6:1 – for FTSE 100 CEOs, this ratio stands at 150:1.
  4. Not just any jobs: 59% of social enterprises employ at least one person who is disadvantaged in the labour market. For 16% of social enterprises, this group forms at least half of all employees.
  5. At the forefront of economic recovery: The proportion of social enterprises that grew their turnover over the past 12 months is 52%. A greater proportion of social enterprises are growing than mainstream SMEs (40%).

Buy from Social Enterprises We Support

Buy Social Enterprise

As a member of Social Enterprise UK, Zepbrook is proud to be the only Wholesaler in London delivering a wide range of Social Enterprise products direct to Offices - helping workplaces be more socially responsible.

View our full Buy Social range

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