The Downing Street launch, which helped mark the start of Responsible Business Week, will see big businesses procure goods and services from the UK’s social enterprise sector, helping it to prosper and grow.
Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, said, “This exciting project will have a huge impact on the social enterprise sector. This isn’t about asking businesses to spend more, but to spend in a way which helps us to build a more compassionate society. It’s a win-win for businesses and social enterprises.”
The businesses already on board are Interserve, Johnson & Johnson, PwC, RBS Group, Santander, Wates, and Zurich – and the hope is to enlist far more partners, from a diverse range of industries, to take part.
Support for the partners will include the training of their procurement teams on how to source and buy from social enterprises, and advantages of doing so. They will also receive advice on measuring the impact of their spend with social enterprises, and how to use the data in sustainability reporting and bid writing.
Gaenor Bagley, executive board member at PwC, one of the founding Corporate Challenge partners, said, “We are already benefittng from using social enterprises in our own supply chain and are committed to working with suppliers to widen this access through our support of the Buy Social Corporate Challenge.”
More information about the initiative and how new corporate partners can get involved can be found at www.socialenterprise.org.uk/challenge