Scotland rejects Social Enterprise Mark as a soft touch

Further to this post, and this on the new national Social Enterprise Mark — which was relaunched recently at Voice10, it seems that opinion is now divided regarding how stringent the mark is in its qualifying criteria.

While John Bird has pledged to secure the Mark so that it can appear on the front cover of every copy of The Big Issue, the Social Enterprise Coalition’s Scottish counterpart, Senscot, has declined to adopt the Mark.

In an email bulletin to its members, Senscot has said: “During last year, Senscot was in discussions with our counterparts in England about the establishment of a Social Enterprise Mark – and its implications for Scotland… towards the end of the process, more persuasive forces (probably Whitehall) have determined that the eligibility criteria for SEM should be softened – to enable it to become a high volume/quick impact instrument…. this strategy is short-sighted and not the route we would choose in Scotland.  The upshot is that, as things stand, we no longer feel able to wholeheartedly support the SEM – and intend to decline the opportunity to be the Scottish partner.”

So — is the Mark soft touch? An an easy-to-get, ‘high volume’ award more focused on a quick political return than it is public credibility and quality?

It would be great to hear what some holders of the Mark think.

on the new national Social Enterprise Mark — which was relaunched recently at Voice10, it seems that opinion is now divided regarding how stringent the mark is in its qualifying criteria.
While The Big Issue’s John Bird has pledged to secure the Mark so that it can appear on the front cover of every copy of The Big Issue, the Social Enterprise Coalition’s Scottish counterpart, Senscot, has declined to become a regional partner in the Mark.
In an email bulletin to its members, the Scottish network said: “During last year, Senscot was in discussions with our counterparts in England about the establishment of a Social Enterprise Mark (SEM) – and its implications for Scotland. We argued our corner, but towards the end of the process, more persuasive forces (probably Whitehall) have determined that the eligibility criteria for SEM should be softened – to enable it to become a high volume/quick impact instrument. Our soundings with Scottish colleagues confirm our own view – that this strategy is short-sighted and not the route we would choose in Scotland.  The upshot is that, as things stand, we no longer feel able to wholeheartedly support the SEM – and intend to decline the opportunity to be the Scottish partner.”
So — is the Mark soft touch? An an easy-to-get, ‘high volume’ award more focused on a quick political return than it is public credibnility and quality?
It would be great to hear what some holders of the Mark think.

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