Social Enterprise Day 2023: social enterprise safaris and more

Discussions on AI for social good, social enterprise safaris and a social enterprise Christmas gift guide mark Social Enterprise Day 2023.

Social enterprises from Europe to Australia are holding events, launching campaigns and exploring innovative solutions to social challenges to celebrate Social Enterprise Day 2023 today.

Social Enterprise Day is an international campaign spearheaded by Social Enterprise UK, the UK’s membership body for social enterprises. Taking place on the third Thursday of November each year, Social Enterprise Day is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. 

In this economy, every purchase matters, and when you buy from social enterprises you can help change the world

Social Enterprise UK research previewed today reveals UK social enterprises reinvested £1bn over the last year to support local communities and the environment, and created £1.2bn in profit. The full State of Social Enterprise report is due to be published in December.

In Sheffield (UK), a consortium of community-based partners plan to hold the 8th Social Enterprise Exchange. The half-day event will bring together social enterprises, social entrepreneurs and sector stakeholders from South Yorkshire and the north of England to explore topics including net zero and the circular economy, AI for social good and navigating the cost of living crisis.

In Glasgow (UK), Social Enterprise Scotland will run a Buy Social Business Matching event, designed to bring together social enterprise suppliers and organisations from the private and public sectors seeking to establish or further develop their social procurement. As well as networking at the event’s social enterprise exhibition area, attendees will hear from existing suppliers and customers to learn best practices and solutions to key challenges in social procurement and CSR supply chain activities and the difference this makes to communities.  

In Melbourne (Australia), Frankston Social Enterprise Hub showcased local social enterprises at a breakfast event at Sages Cottages Farm broadcast live by local radio station RPP FM. Sages Cottage Farm a working farm providing educational programs and employment pathways for people with a disability. 

In Plymouth (UK), Plymouth Social Enterprise Network is holding the city’s 14th Annual Social Enterprise Festival from 8 to 17 November. The festival includes ‘safari’ tours around some of Plymouth’s social enterprises, an eco market and an exhibition of mass participation artwork from the Art and Energy Collective.

In Berlin (Germany), Social Entrepreneurship Network Germany eV’s event features a keynote speech by Manouchehr Shamsiziri from RetroBrain R&D GmbH and a panel discussion on sustainable B2B procurement.

In London (UK), Members of Parliament were invited to meet representatives of social enterprises from around the UK at an early Social Enterprise Day celebration on Wednesday organised by social investor Big Society Capital and Access – the Foundation for Social Investment. MPs at the event included shadow energy secretary Ed Miliband, Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central Jo Gideon and former civil society ministers Tracey Crouch and Nick Hurd.

Social enterprise gift guide launched

To mark the day, Social Enterprise UK launched a social enterprise gift guide, made up of more than 60 products including children’s gifts, stocking fillers, food and drink, home and garden, clothing and accessories. Social Enterprise UK says the list offers consumers an ethical shopping alternative to big online retailers and the consumerism of Black Friday. 

Products featured in the guide support local communities and vulnerable groups, teach people life-changing skills, empower workers, and give beautiful new forms to discarded items. Some are also part of the eBay For Change programme, a partnership between eBay and Social Enterprise UK to help online shoppers find and support social enterprises.

Peter Holbrook, Social Enterprise UK CEO, said: “In this economy, every purchase matters, and when you buy from social enterprises you can help change the world. Britain is home to thousands of social enterprises creating beautiful products, from wallets and handbags made from firehose that would otherwise go into landfill, to luxury chocolates that give the farmers a fair price for their cocoa or help young people with autism get jobs. Whether you browse our guide, visit eBay for Change or find social enterprises in your local community, you can do your holiday shopping and do good at the same time.

Header photo of a scene from Plymouth Social Enterprise Festival by Fotonow CIC

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