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25 July 2014 | Will Green
Firms are being urged to incorporate one new social enterprise into their supply chain to mark the UK’s first “Social Saturday”.
The day, organised by Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) and backed by the UK government, aims to boost the number of people buying from the third sector, comprising more than 70,000 organisations.
SEUK said half of social enterprises now trade with the private sector and it was a way for firms to align CSR objectives with their core business, to develop sustainability agendas and to make a positive contribution to communities in which they operate.
Social Saturday takes place on 13 September and follows the launch of a Buy Social Directory in June, a website featuring more than 10,000 third sector organisations offering a wide variety of products and services.
Alex Castle, head of supply chain management at property investment firm Telereal Trillium, part of a group of companies supporting the directory, said: “We’ve found the social enterprises we have worked with to be innovative and flexible in ways that larger companies cannot always be, delivering efficiencies and added value, and with a passion for what they do.”
Peter Holbrook, CEO at SEUK, said: “Businesses can grow their own social impact and make a positive difference simply by choosing to trade with social enterprise partners. The UK is home to the world’s fastest growing social enterprise sector and its continued growth is partly reliant on increasing numbers of businesses based in Britain buying social.
“Just like having a carbon footprint, every business has a social footprint. Large companies including Deloitte, PwC, Santander and Wates are blazing a trail and opening up their supply chains when it comes to buying social, and we can support others interested in doing the same. It’s the way to differentiate your business from others.”