Further to Mark Ellerby’s post on the Cadbury buy-out, I was interested to see today, in Peter Holbrook’s blog — he’s the new CEO at the Social Enterprise Coalition — these comments. Holbrook is referring to a recent piece in the Financial Times:
I love that the FT is writing about social enterprise, but I don’t love it when they call Green and Black’s a social enterprise. They’re tasty and organic, but only one bar was ever fair trade and that was Maya Gold. Neither fair trade nor organic alone = social enterprise.
Holbrook goes on to make the point that for social enterprises the purpose of social change cannot be ‘discretionary’ — something that owners may choose to contribute to: “they should be fundamentally about social change”.
Speaking about the Social Enterprise Mark, which has just been relaunched as a national (rather than regional) Mark at Voice10, Holbrook says: “What I want the Mark to do is cut through the confusion and the misinformation”. It’s up to social enterprises, he concludes, to say what they are and what they believe.
Given the recent debates we have been engaged in — not least in the context of Call Britannia, in this post — I think a new leader at SEC who is setting out from day-one to establish some clarity regarding the aims, purpose and parameters of social enterprise is to be warmly welcomed.