Buy Social is SEUK’s flagship campaign that aims to build markets for social enterprises among the general public as well as the private and public sectors. It challenges all of us to think about where we buy our goods and services from, and the social impact of our purchasing decisions.
Research with our members revealed that they wanted Social Enterprise UK to drive more business their way. We thought that a campaign would be the best way to make this happen and worked with our members to create Buy Social, which launched on Social Enterprise Day 2012.
It was decided that we would target three core customer bases: social enterprises, the private sector and consumers. We have since supported parliament, and are planning to reach out to universities and charities.
WHY BUY SOCIAL?
Buying social is about using your money, as an individual or an organisation, to create a positive impact on the world we live in. When you buy from a social enterprise you are choosing to spend your money with a business that is giving something back, reinvesting their profits to address the most pressing issues, from homelessness and unemployment to ethical trade and climate change.
Let our short animation explain. Narrated by John Bird, Founder of The Big Issue, featuring Jamie Oliver.
SOCIAL SATURDAY: TAKING THE CAMPAIGN TO CONSUMERS
The first Social Saturday in September 2014 aimed to boost the number of consumers buying from social enterprises. It had cross-party support and was backed by the Prime Minister, David Cameron. Successive campaigns in 2015 and 2016 have reached consumers and MPs across the UK. And since launching Social Saturday, awareness of social enterprise among the general public has risen from 37% to 51%.
EVEN PARLIAMENT IS 'BUYING SOCIAL'
The House of Commons and House of Lords are accredited ‘Buy Social’ organisations by Social Enterprise UK. This recognises that Parliament has incorporated social enterprises into its supply chains, and considers added social and environmental value when procuring goods and services. The parliamentary reception recognising this achievement was attended by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus (below) with John Bercow, Speaker of the House.
REACHING OUT TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR
Launched in April 2016, the Buy Social Corporate Challenge will see a group of high profile businesses aim to spend £1 billion with social enterprises by 2020. The initiative is a first for the social enterprise sector. SEUK are hoping that more businesses will sign up to the Challenge.
PR BUY SOCIAL FORUM
In June 2015, Social Enterprise UK, in association with the PR Guild and PRCA (Public Relations Consultants Association) hosted a forum bringing together social enterprises in the creative sector with corporate buyers. Buyers from organisations including Microsoft, The City of London Corporation, Johnson & Johnson and a host of large PR companies networked with social enterprises working in fields such as creative communications, printing, web design and film production.
BUY SOCIAL DIRECTORY
The Buy Social Directory helps private and public sector buyers find social enterprises to trade with. Search the directory to connect with social enterprises providing a variety of products and services, from education and training, to catering and printing.
SUPPLY CHAIN GUIDE
Here's a practical guide to 'buying social' for people working in large organisations. Whether you're in the private, public or voluntary sectors, why not help grow the positive impact your business or organisation has on society?
BUY SOCIAL BADGE AND ANIMATION (FOR SEUK MEMBERS ONLY)
We've designed a range of Buy Social materials to help encourage more people to buy from social enterprises. Login to access the buy social downloads.
Members are also welcome to host the Buy Social animation on their websites. Login to access the embed code.