That’s because a survey done by the Social Enterprise Association (SEA) found that the most common methods used by corporations to support social enterprises were to provide “funding and donations” and “sponsorships”.
When asked whether they purchase products or services from social enterprises, among the 155 respondents, only 13 percent were current buyers, 21 percent said they were ready to buy, and 66 percent said they were “non-buyers”.
Corporations have stated that the top factors influencing corporate purchasing decisions for both social enterprises and regular businesses are “quality of product or service”, “price”, and “need for product or service”.
The wake-up call for social enterprises is that over 60 percent of non-buyers felt the products and services of social enterprises did not fulfill their company’s needs, revealing a certain level of misalignment.
Among those who are currently buying or ready to buy from social enterprises, 94 percent indicated that “contribute back to society” was a motivating factor to purchase while 75 percent indicated they were motivated because they “believed in the mission of a social enterprise”, neither of which are among the top factors influencing purchasing decisions.
The surveys were conducted between December 2012 and March 2013 to analyze the understanding and attitudes towards social enterprises among business corporations in Singapore.
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