Are you ready for social enterprise gold?
Lucy Findlay on the Social Enterprise Gold Mark
Guest blog: Lucy Findlay on the Social Enterprise Gold Mark
Last week we launched the Social Enterprise Gold Mark at the House of Commons. It signals a new way for flourishing social enterprises to demonstrate their commitment to the community.
The Social Enterprise Gold Mark aims to identify 'remarkable' social enterprises – through their business model and their social impact.
We’re very pleased to say that we have responded to demand from Social Enterprise Mark Holders, by developing this important new assessment. For a long time, people have been asking ‘how can I identify a really effective social enterprise?’
We have now developed a new assessment for the gold award which looks at:
• Governance – stakeholder representation in strategy and operation
• Business ethics – complaints handling, diversity, equality, pay, workplace issues and social auditing
• Financial transparency – how financial assets, including profits, create social and environmental impact
The Social Enterprise Gold Mark is awarded to organisations which can show best practice across these three areas. This is not just about social impact, it’s about measuring what makes a truly excellent social enterprise. I’m delighted that the 3 founding Social Enterprise Gold Mark awardees demonstrate this so strongly.
The pioneering award winners were:
University of Salford – They were recognised for their social impact in the difference made to the local community. For example, 42% of students are from lower income families or ‘first from family to University’.
John Taylor Hospice CIC – They were recognised for empowering staff as owners to drive innovation. Through staff-led quality circles, examining different elements of clinical governance and ways of working, staff have ensured the hospice has raised its patient contacts from 5,000 a year to 10,000 a year, since moving from the NHS.
Integrated Care 24 – recognised for new social enterprise product innovation. For example, ‘mylittleone’ promotes bonding between mother and baby when an infant is in neonatal care, reducing stress and anxiety for them both.
Supporters at the launch included Ben Bradshaw MP (Exeter) who hosted and welcomed everyone to the launch event and Hazel Blears MP (Salford and Eccles) presented the awards to the pioneering Social Enterprise Gold Mark Holders.
Hazel Blears MP who is currently part of a Government-appointed panel reviewing the Public Services (Social Value) Act, told us at the event:
“In putting social impact at the heart of what they do these organisations are setting the standard I want social enterprises and businesses of all kinds to aspire to.
“I know all about the University of Salford’s fantastic work in encouraging students and social enterprises to think carefully about how responsible business practice can benefit wider society “
Professor Martin Hall, Vice Chancellor, University of Salford said of our award:
“We are delighted that our work in social enterprise has been recognized by this prestigious award. Contributing to social value should be at the heart of the mission of a university and promoting social enterprises is vital to this.”
Lucy Findlay is Managing Director of the Social Enterprise Mark CIC.
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