Five years ago SEUK established an ambitious Buy Social Corporate Challenge. It was launched to considerable fanfare in Downing Street, with seven founding corporate partners committing to open up their supply chains to social enterprises.
The idea of the challenge was to take the proven methods of the Buy Social campaign but to ratchet these up exponentially using the supply-chain opportunities of the major corporates.
SEUK has just published its Year 5 Impact Report looking at the achievements of the Buy Social Corporate Challenge and I have to say they are impressive:
- 27 large businesses are now signed up to the Buy Social Corporate Challenge, representing almost every major sector of the economy.
- Almost £165m has been spent with social enterprises by large businesses in the first five years of the Buy Social Corporate Challenge.
- Despite the challenges of the pandemic, 2020 was the best year yet, with almost £73m spent in a single year with social enterprise suppliers.
- Approximately 550 social enterprises supplied one or more Buy Social Corporate Challenge partners over the last 12 months.
- Buy Social Corporate Challenge partners once again reported a strong performance on cost and quality from their social enterprise suppliers – 95% of partners said that they are cost neutral when compared with other suppliers, and 95% of partners said that they deliver comparable or higher quality compared with other suppliers.
- Corporate contracts in the first five years of the programme have led to the direct or indirect creation of 2,030 jobs at social enterprises. Many of these jobs go to individuals who face barriers to the labour market, showing that social enterprises can make a crucial contribution to tackling the COVID jobs crisis.
- According to Buy Social Corporate Challenge partners, sourcing from social enterprises brings a wide range of benefits to corporate clients.