What is a Social Enterprise?

Last month saw events and promotions all over the UK to support Social Saturday, a campaign to draw attention to the thousands of Social Enterprises currently in business.

But what is a social enterprise anyway?

A social enterprise is an organisation that applies commercial strategies to maximise improvements in social or environmental wellbeing. They can be structured as for-profit or not-for-profit, and have both business goals and social goals. As a result, their social goals are embedded in their business objectives, which differentiates them from other companies. A social enterprise’s main purpose is to promote, encourage, and make social change.

Social enterprises sell goods and services in the open market, reinvesting the money they make back into their business or their cause. This allows them to tackle social problems, improve people’s life chances, support communities or help the environment.

Some Social Enterprise statistics

There’s over 470,000 social enterprises in the UK
12% of Social Enterprises are BAME led
41% of Social Enterprises are led by women

When a social enterprise profits, society profits.

We firmly believe that changing our buying behaviour can make a real difference to our communities and the environment. There are so many businesses right now making beautiful products and life-changing services, and we encourage you to look beyond the high street because there’s probably a social enterprise providing a service you need.

We love working with social enterprises. Last year we curated a social marketplace that included stalls reflecting the diverse range of conscious products on offer. To give you a taster, check out some of our favourite social enterprises right now:

Artbox London provide opportunities for people with learning disabilities to access the arts and be included in their local community.

Well Grounded tackle unemployment by providing people with the skills they need to access roles as baristas in London.

The Skip Garden is an urban garden and cafe that uses its profits to support the work of Global Generation who create employment pathways for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Mediorite is a creative filmmaking agency who support young people with few employment opportunities into the film industry.

Rise Bakery train people who used to be homeless and help them to find work and regain their confidence.

Accumulate helps young, homeless people explore their creativity through a range of creative workshops, including photography, filmmaking, creative writing and illustration.

Jolt is a homeware and accessories brand with products designed by a diverse group of makers referred through mental health services.

Thraedable is a clothing range that supports social projects with each item designed and inspired by the people that the projects support.

Knit Aid support refugees in camps across Europe by collecting hand knitted items from keen knitters around the world and redistributing them to those in need, as well as selling knitting needles and other products.

Find out more about Social Saturday here.


Good Beans is an ethical marketing and communications agency working with social enterprises, charities and organisations that want to be better. Want to reach more people? Contact us