In the week of Social Saturday – the annual campaign to raise awareness of social enterprises – Social Investment Business joined with Social Enterprise UK to host a roundtable discussion on how more businesses can bring social enterprises into their supply chains.
The roundtable was held at award winning social enterprise restaurant Brigade and explored the challenges and opportunities of working with social enterprises and what is needed to help more of them deliver at scale.
A significant number of high profile businesses are aiming to spend £1 billion with social enterprises by 2020 as part of the Social Enterprise UK Buy Social Corporate Challenge.
Hazel Blears, Chair of Social Investment Business, who chaired the event said:
“Social Saturday is all about encouraging more consumers to buy from social enterprises but the potential of business buying is enormous. As the Buy Social Corporate Challenge shows, many large companies are already bringing social enterprises into their supply chains but there is still more to do. This roundtable helped us better understand what we can do to help more social enterprises grow, enter large supply chains and develop long term relationships with big businesses.”
The breakfast was supported by BP, CAN, Co-Op, Fujitsu, Honda, NuGen, Peabody, Power to Change, PwC, Sodexo, Wates, and Zurich Insurance. They heard from The Soap.Co, an ethical brand that employs people who are visually impaired or otherwise disabled or disadvantaged and Ninety, a social enterprise that provides a new change model for large companies.
As well as discussing procuring from social enterprises, business reps also covered how investment, pro bono and advisory support can help more social enterprises get to the scale they need to supply to more businesses
Simon Blagden, Global Chair of Fujitsu said:
“One of the biggest challenges for some social enterprises is delivering at the scale many large companies need. We want to support ways to help them develop and I am looking forward to more discussions with Social Investment Business about how we can help to make this happen together.”
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