Congratulations to Lucy Findlay, RISE SW and the SE Mark team for a stunning national launch on 1st February 2010 in Cardiff at Voice10 that I managed to watch live online. Having followed the journey of SE Mark from its early development in 2006 and recommended the Mark to several social enterprises here in Cornwall I am watching with great interest as the impact of the Mark is rolled out nationally over the coming months.
The Social Enterprise Mark has to date been awarded to around 60 social enterprises, mostly in the South West region under the pilot programme. There is estimated to be 5500 social enterprises in the South West region so at present the Mark represents around 1% of the market.
The goal will be for the SE Mark to reach a tipping point both regionally and nationally in order to create momentum and critical mass that brings the reward of public recognition. New Social Enterprise Coalition boss, Peter Holbrook recognises this too in his stated aim of awarding the Mark to ’several thousand social enterprises’ within the next few years.
I would suggest that to achieve any prospect of parity with the highly successful FairTrade brand, the Mark must reach at least 10% of the social enterprise sector – around 6000 social enterprises. This is a daunting prospect for the most optimistic of sales teams so it calls for the sector to support the Mark in every way.
Above all the Mark is about credibility, a badge of approval given to those clearly deserving social enterprises. It’s a celebration of the social enterprise brand – the best of its services and products. Meanwhile we await details of the national roll-out programme and transition to the newly formed company that will take the Social Enterprise Mark forward into the future.
Director, Social Traders