Many Social Enterprises have been at the forefront of supporting people and communities through the global COVID-19 pandemic. Others, have had to cut back and reduce their trading and the social benefit they create.
In response, Social Enterprise Link CIC (the infrastructure and support organisation for not-for-profit organisations in Hampshire and Dorset) is developing a shared marketing platform 'CIC THE MARKET' which social enterprises, community businesses and social enterprise supporters, can use to trade through the crisis. It will also place them in a better position to achieve ongoing long term sustainability.
We want to raise money to operate and develop this on-line platform at the earliest opportunity. You will see from the video, that we have a product ready to populate with infomration about the products and services of many great local Social Enterprises.
This willl develop into a paid for service and/or will be included in the SEL membership fee but we want to offer it for the lowest possible cost initially, and if you contribute to this Crowdfund, you will help make that possible. Therefore donations as well as payments to buy service forward would be very welcome.
Why CIC the Market is needed
There are very few focussed Social Enterprise marketing or trading platforms, so products and services provided by social enterprises are rarely given the distinct profile they deserve, will benefit from this project.
We are often told that all enterprises should compete on a level playing field, but Social Enterprises have a different story to tell.
First, Social Enterprises have a Social Purpose at heart. They are not just trading businesses - they are business trading for a social or environmental purpose. That means helping people and planet in their trading - workers, communities, social housing, a healthy local environment.
Research for SEUK, supported by the Coop Group and, Nationwide Building Society in 2018 showed the sector;
Is worth £60 billion to the UK economy, Employs over 2,000,000 people,
Is constituted by over 100,000 businesses
Is it inclusive and over 40,000 of these enterprises are led by women, over 12,000 of are led by people from the BAME community, over 36,000 have a Director who has a disability
It is growing and is innovative with 47% growing successfully over the last year compared to 34% of conventional enterprises. It has three times the proportion of start-ups compared to other businesses (8%) and a survival rate of 80% over 5 years compared to other businesses. The number of social enterprises introducing a new product or service in the last 12 months stands at 50%. Among other SMEs it has fallen to 33%.
It supports tax justice and is part of our collective economy, Britain’s top 5 co-operatives pay more tax than Amazon, Facebook, Apple, eBay and Starbucks combined
The sector should have an important role in Building Back Better...
What we will do with the money
We will use the money to enable Social Enterprises to put themselves on CIC the Market at the lowest possible cost, and to develop and market the website. While we expect much of the income for this work to come from the sector, we also want people who realise the importance of Social Enterprises to give a contribution to help us bring forward the day we can launch.
Here are some great local social enterprises -