We Buy Social

We Buy Social is a recognition awarded by Social Enterprise UK acknowledging that an organisation buys from social enterprises and considers social value in its supply chain.


Bringing social enterprises into your supply chain can deliver a range of benefits for your business. It can help you increase your supplier diversity, grow links with the communities within which you operate or help meet corporate social responsibility objectives such as reducing your carbon footprint or tackling unemployment.

Buying social can help you ensure the money you already spend on goods and services stays in your local community, or that it goes to a cause your staff are passionate about.

Including social enterprises in your supply chain makes your money go further. More and more businesses are buying from social enterprises, improving the lives and communities of those around them. Why not join them and start buying social today.


There are 5 criteria that organisations need to be able to meet. These are the same whether you are from the public, private or third sectors and are:

• We have fair, accessible and open procurement processes

• We are raising awareness of social enterprise across our business

• We have trained relevant staff about buying from social enterprise

• We work with Social Enterprise UK to find social enterprise suppliers

• We are committed to measuring the impact of buying social




Wates, one of the largest privately owned construction companies in the UK, have set themselves the target of spending £5 million with social enterprise suppliers across their sites by 2015. To meet the target Wates has set up, in partnership with Social Enterprise UK, a brokerage service to help its construction workers find and buy from social enterprises. Support is available through an online directory and telephone helpline.

"Wates are incredibly proud to be supporters of the Buy Social campaign. We are truly committed to integrating social enterprises within our supply chain. The ethos and purpose of these businesses very much aligns to Wates values but it is also provides a fantastic platform for us to truly make a difference in the communities in which we work."

Rachel Woolliscroft, Sustainability Director, Wates


The Buy Social Directory allows you to search a list of 10,000 social enterprise suppliers. You can search by category and by location. Whatever you’re after there’s a good chance that there’s a social enterprise supplier for you.

Our guide to supply chains provides more information for those interested in buying goods and services from the UK's social enterprise sector.

If you want to find out more about how social enterprises can fit into your supply chains and procurement then visit our page on supply chains and procurement.