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What is a social enterprise?

The shortlist for the UK Social Enterprise Awards has been announced- and we are on it! One of five organisations shortlisted for the Health and Social Care Social Enterprise 2018. We can't wait to celebrate this achievement of being shortlisted, but also to recognise what we have achieved over the last year... and you can join us- book here.

A question we get asked a lot is, what is a social enterprise?

Social enterprises are businesses that are changing the world for the better. Like traditional businesses they aim to make a profit but it’s what they do with their profits that sets them apart – reinvesting or donating them to create positive social change.

There are many social enterprises all around the world having a huge impact on their communities and this movement to do good through business is building momentum.

Just looking down many social media feeds at the minute and you will see people sharing stories and links to videos and articles that highlight the growing lack of trust in traditional businesses… Use of plastic, poorly paid workers, inadequate working conditions, people trafficking, investment in arms trade, companies not paying taxes- people are getting angry, but do not always know what to do, people feel paralyzed because there are so many things wrong, where do you start?- cutting out plastic, only buying fairtrade, avoiding shops that have unethical practices or that don't pay their taxes- just some of the things people are currently campaigning on. But not everyone can do everything, it makes life very difficult.

What we need is systemic change in the way business is done. Businesses that put their impact on the world and people as an equal in decision making to profit.

At the recent Social Enterprise World Forum they highlighted that…

Being involved in social enterprise demonstrates that you care. If everyone was involved in them the world will be a better place. The types of business that the next generation are going to start will be businesses that create change and have a positive impact on communities.

And for the first time, research has considered the impact of 5,000 larger social enterprises, as well as small and medium-sized social enterprises. Taken together with other data, this means that there are around 100,000 social enterprises, contributing £6bn to the UK economy and employing 2m people.

The Hidden Revolution is a new research report that brings together key statistics which show that social enterprises are more competitive than traditional firms and confirms that social enterprises are the Future of Business.

Designs in Mind is a social enterprise and member of Social Enterprise UK. 100% of the revenue we make is re-invested back in to the work- so that together we find ways to live life with mental health challenges. Every time you buy from our shop- JOLT, or commission your own artwork, every penny is invested back in, transforming what mental health services look and feel like.

So on the 16th of October we are Celebrating Social Enterprise and we would love you to come. We will be joined by Karen Lynch, CEO of Belu, the UK's first carbon-neutral bottled water firm. A social enterprise that operates to the highest environmental and ethical standards and donates 100% of its profits to WaterAid; over £3M to date, helping to transform the lives of 200,000 people since 2011. Come and be inspired by her story and more.

Tickets are just £5 and you can find out more and book here

You can read more here about Social Enterprise UK and the growing social enterprise movement.

#OurStory #SocialEnterprise #Oswestry #Shropshire #MentalHealth

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