Chances are that if you’re reading this you have a general understanding of what is a social enterprise. But the reality is that confusion still exists.
For instance, last year Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) launched the campaign Not In Our Name in response to Salesforce’s attempt to trademark the term social enterprise. And their idea of “social enterprise” was nothing close to a revenue-generating business enriching human or environmental well-being. Rather, there is a whole other industry describing social enterprise as a business’ use of social media and similar technologies.
The campaign proved successful. Salesforce withdrew its trademark application and Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of the company, said that the company “plans to discontinue its use in our marketing”. It seems the company is still “planning”. Last fall, it was reported that Salesforce used the term on its marketing collateral at Dreamforce 2012 in San Francisco, which said “Touch the social enterprise”.
Now, SEUK wants to take matters into their own hands. The organization, which supports social enterprises in the UK, has designed new badges for its members – one for social enterprises and another for social enterprise supporters.
“We’ve done this in response to our members’ feedback. They said they wanted clearer recognition of their social enterprise or social enterprise supporter status,” the organization said in a release.
This isn’t the first time a certification for social enterprises appeared in the UK. The Social Enterprise Mark makes an effort to distinguish businesses that earn at least 50% of its income from trading and put at least 50% of company profits to benefit society.
The idea of the certification is to help increase the visibility of social enterprises.
Photo from Social Enterprise UK.
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