Home > Uncategorized > Time for a Social Enterprise Mark?

Time for a Social Enterprise Mark?

This blog has mentioned branding before, and in the UK they are taking a leaf out of the book of the Fair Trade movement and are launching a branded ‘Social Enterprise Mark’ for organisations in the UK. When you think about it this is a blinding flash of the obvious for the sector here in Ireland.

With increased consumer awareness of the brands they buy, where and how they were manufactured and the rise in environmentalism and ethical stocks, this is a logical move for the sector. Not only does it allow consumbers of all types to clarify exactly what kind of product and service they are buying or supporting, but it is also a great way to spread the word of social enterprise to the many people who don’t know anything about it.  As the UK website says ‘The Mark offers consumers an instantly recognisable logo that represents enterprises working for social and environmental aims, trading to benefit people and the planet.’

If the social sector is going to increasingly compete with the for-profit sector as we have predicted in the Ryan Academy, then Irish social enterprises need to ‘think smarter’ about how they are positioned. Even if they don’t compete, the potential ro raise interest (and money) would be significantly increased by use of such a mark. The Mark in the UK which has just launched will obviously be policed strictly, which is no bad thing.  As most social enterprises are small and medium sized organisations, any form of co-branding with a mark such as this would increase their visibility.

The social enterprise mark in the UK has been set up by a venture set up between the Social Enterprise Coalition, the UK national body for social enterprise, and RISE, the social enterprise regional network for the South West.  Perhaps someone is looking at this in Ireland, but I haven’t picked up on anything recently – if not then how do we start this here?

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  1. socialtraders
    February 9, 2010 at 13:04

    I agree this is great time for ROI to look at social enterprise mark, having spent many years working with social enterprises in the North and a few in the South.

    Do get in touch with Lucy Findlay, RISE SW who has spent 4-5 years developing the SE Mark that I’ve recommended to SEs here in Cornwall.

    Bob Northey, Social Traders (@socialtraders)

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