What Is a Social Enterprise?
According to Social Enterprise UK: "Social enterprises are businesses that are changing the world for the better. Like traditional businesses they aim to make a profit but it’s what they do with their profits that sets them apart – reinvesting or donating them to create positive social change. Social enterprises are in our communities and on our high streets – from coffee shops and cinemas, to pubs and leisure centres, banks and bus companies."
Why aren't all Businesses Social Enterprises?
Whilst the rest of the world has woken up to the advantages brought by social businesses, the UK is lagging behind according to an article in City A.M. Having been traditionally at the forefront putting purpose before profit - even the first to create a legal form for social enterprise - we are now not even in the top 10 countries in the world highlighted as best for social entrepreneurs, according to a report from the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
There are 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.
How Y.O.U Underwear is a Social Enterprise
Y.O.U underwear is a social enterprise and business. 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're also a member of Social Enterprise UK to solidify our belief in people over profits - and using profits for a purpose. We do this through our Buy 1 Give 2 scheme that allows every purchase to make a difference and donate underwear! We also ensure that all our underwear is made ethically and with GOTS certified Organic Cotton.
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 if you can, please shop locally and support small, ethical businesses. We promise we will be doing our happy dance!