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Graduate Planet CIC celebrating Social Enterprise UK's Buy Corporate Challenge at the House of C

We were delighted to be invited to the House of Commons to celebrate the amazing achievement of the Buy Corporate Challenge. Created by Social Enterprise UK, a group of high profile businesses - Amey, BP, Johnson & Johnson, Linklaters, LV =, Mace, PwC, Santander, Wates, Robertson and Zurich are supporting social enterprises within their supply chain.

"Over £45 million spent with social enterprises so far, having a remarkable impact in a range of ways, on individuals lives and whole communities" - Peter Holbrook - Social Enterprise UK

The Buy Social Corporate Challenge

Led by Social Enterprise UK in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Business in the Community, a number of forward-thinking companies are opening up their supply chains to social enterprises.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign at Downing Street in April 2016 then Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, said: This exciting project will have a huge impact on the social enterprise sector. This isn’t about asking businesses to spend more, but to spend in a way which helps us to build a bigger stronger society. It’s a win-win for businesses and social enterprises and I hope to see more big businesses sign up to the Challenge.

This years impact report, launched on 18th April at a reception at Westminster, looks into the impact of the first two years of the Buy Social Corporate Challenge. So far just over £45 million has been spent by corporate partners and the Challenge has directly or indirectly created 329 jobs at social enterprises. Through corporate contracts social enterprises have been able to reinvest £2.98 million into their social missions.

Getting involved

Social Enterprise UK are actively seeking more partners to be involved in the Challenge. If you’d be interested in getting involved, please email Charlie Wigglesworth or Neha Chandgothia.

The Corporate Challenge launched in April 2016 at a reception at Number 11 Downing Street

Partners receive a package of support

Corporate Challenge partners are supported to buy and source from social enterprises - this includes:

  • A review of your supply chain and benchmarking existing social enterprise spend.

  • Training for procurement teams.

  • Brokerage support.

  • Advice and support on how to measure the impact of your spend with social enterprises, and how to use this in sustainability reporting/bid writing.

It also includes communications support to engage employees and key stakeholders, including:

  • Internal communications campaigns, buyers fairs and promotions to educate staff on buying social.

  • External press coverage at events and through case studies and best practice.

  • Exposure with senior Government figures and across the business community.

The business case for bringing social enterprises into your supply chain

Procuring from social enterprises makes absolute business sense – research has shown that businesses with more diverse supply chains have higher staff satisfaction and retention, perform better and are more innovative. This is money businesses need to spend anyway, getting the same quality of goods and services but with a clear benefit to society – a strong statement of responsible business.

These behaviours are also being rewarded by the market – through the Social Value Act in the public sector, consumers in B2C and increasingly responsible businesses in B2B.

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