Embedding social enterprise in universities provides excellent opportunities for students to develop their employability skills: not only teaching crucial business skills, but also in demonstrating to the next generation of business people how businesses can care for more than just a financial bottom line. Social enterprises and the people who run and work in them can contribute positively to people and planet – it's business with a heart.
The Social Enterprise Mark is a sign that a university not only teaches the ethos of social enterprise, but actually embeds the values of good business at its heart.
The Social Enterprise Gold Mark goes even further in showing that a university has achieved a Mark of Excellence.
This is why the Higher Education Funding Council for England has supported the idea of
universities becoming accredited as Social Enterprise Mark holders, as well as supporting a
campaign aimed at prospective university applicants, encouraging them to consider applying to universities holding the Social Enterprise Mark/Gold Mark, and to develop these enterprise skills as students.
A number of Universities UK members have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark/Gold Mark for carrying out trailblazing, award-winning enterprise activity that has directly helped students gain employment. Just three examples:
At a time when
students and graduates are saying they want careers and lifestyles that enable them to contribute to the social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of their communities, society and the world around them, universities have an opportunity to put ethics, civic engagement, social and environmental justice and sustainable economic development at the heart of what they do, and the experience they offer their students.
Social Enterprise Mark CIC is the accreditation body responsible for assessing applications for the internationally recognised Social Enterprise Mark and Social Enterprise Gold Mark. It ensures the social enterprise business model remains ethical, credible and commercial through accreditation. There are around 200 organisations that currently hold Social Enterprise Mark/Gold Mark accreditation.