Social enterprises enhance corporate supply chains while contributing to a positive environmental and social impact. Businesses are choosing to purchase from social enterprise suppliers who provide high quality products and services and deliver social value to their communities.
How does a social enterprise tap into this market? What are the benefits?
Experts from social enterprises indicate how they tapped into the corporate market. Business leaders explain the benefits that social suppliers bring to business.
After this review you should see that social enterprise is becoming increasingly mainstream, enhancing corporate supply chains and enabling companies of all sizes to achieve greater social engagement with local communities, operate sustainably, and do business with a more positive social and environmental impact.
Something as simple as procurement can have life-changing impact as social enterprises work to achieve direct social impact with income derived from being a supplier to businesses.
Social enterprises are first and foremost businesses. They survive and grow by making and selling a wide variety of goods and services. What makes them different is their structure and their rules. They're structured be impact-first businesses, committed as their primary purpose to generate social and environmental solutions and to use their profits to improve lives and tackle social problems.
Such businesses are called social enterprises and are normally built and developed by either whole communities looking to solve local problems or by inspiring social entrepreneurs who want to do business in a much more sustainable and socially pioneering way.
Social enterprises have provided pathways for people that want to rebuild their lives after prison, people with disabilities or those simply who have found it tough to find work. Businesses that try to be as green as possible have also made great strides.
Social Enterprise UK represents and advocates for thousands of social enterprises. They are a national body for social enterprises, and undertake research, build data, develop policy, create campaigns that showcase what social businesses can do for our world.
Conventional approaches to business have created great dividends for our world. There is little question that businesses have contributed mighty solutions and huge prosperity in our world. And yet despite these successes, few if any business leaders would still agree with the business doctrines of the past. Milton Friedman, the economist and business theorist in 1970 said, "There is one and only one social responsibility of business - to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud".
Being social in most cases does not have to cost more, and we know that the story of social procurement works well with customers, workers, and communities alike.
Corporate executives are ahead of our political leaders in understanding the magnitude of issues that they need to address, and the diversity of stakeholders that they now need to serve.
Whatever metrics and data used and applied, whatever realm of human development explored – a consensus is beginning to - our economies are unsustainable and our businesses will need to adapt to survive and to prosper.
Fresh water is becoming a scarcer commodity. Soil fertility has been consistently degrading for decades. Climate chaos is becoming more frequent and more extreme. The world's population will grow by around a third over the next 30 years, and by that time we're likely to have more plastic in our oceans than fish.
Alongside these current impending environmental emergencies, we can also see that globalization and market economics are concentrating wealth in fewer and fewer hands, inequality continues to grow within and across our nations.
Within this alarming context we can no longer maintain an approach that, in effect, is business as usual.
The multiple nature of these challenges, the ones that we face require new thinking and innovative approaches. Business is experiencing chronic levels of decline in trust and loyalty, and as such business has to adapt and rebuild its relationship with customers, workers, and its broader stakeholders across society.
Social and environmental profit can and must exist alongside shareholder returns. Operating our businesses and curating our economies based on yesterday's theories and thinking will simply no longer do.
Even the most die-hard capitalists recognize this imperative. In January 2018, Laurence D Fink, who's the chairman and chief executive of Blackrock, a huge hedge fund, said, "To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”
"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein
Businesses gain a competitive advantage through building brand and reputation while enhancing their ability to recruit and retain staff.
< Contact > Dominic Fernandez
defining, designing and delivering solutions to help businesses achieve results - efficiently and effectively!