November 21st was Social Enterprise Day 2019, a day focusing on social enterprises and their impact in the world that is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
On that day the #WhoKnew digital campaign gave social enterprises around the world the chance to tell their stories, show what makes them different from traditional businesses, and shout about the impact of their work.
But whilst the rest of the world has woken up to the advantages brought by social businesses, the UK is now lagging behind according to an article in City A.M.* last week. Having been traditionally at the forefront of developing new models that put purpose before profit - indeed the first to create a legal form for social enterprise and to create the original social investment bank - we are now not even in the top 10 countries in the world highlighted as best for social entrepreneurs, according to a report last week from the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
There are now 100,000 social enterprises in the UK, but they are seen as "a novel variation of charity", rather than the serious businesses that they actually are. As well as driving growth, they also report higher levels of innovation, pay their workers higher wages, and have more women and BAME leaders than traditional businesses.
According to the City A.M. article, these are exactly the businesses we need to help Britain succeed economically, helping reform the current broken model of capitalism, as well as healing many of our social and environmental problems with a focus on people and planet as well as profit.
Y.O.U underwear is a social business - and we are proud to have a 'triple bottom line' as our impact and the ways we make a difference are as important as the money we make.
We firmly believe in supporting other small businesses and social businesses - we all know that they are the ones who do a happy dance with every sale!
And as the economists are realising, it's the businesses that have a purpose beyond profit which are going to help us win the global economic race. As a country we now need to catch up, but by supporting those businesses that are sustainable in the broader sense, we can do it.
We know we need to change and that change starts with us all. So shop locally, support small businesses and #Shop EthicalInstead this holiday season. And we promise we will be doing our happy dance!
See https://www.socialenterprise.org.uk/socialenterpriseday/ for more info about Social Enterprise Day.