Social Saturday launch in Westminster

The campaign was officially launched on 12 September at a reception in Westminster

The UK’s third Social Saturday, taking place on 15th October 2016, was this week launched at a House of Commons reception for MPs and some of the UK’s best-loved social enterprises. Speakers at the event on Monday (12th September) included Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, Chris White MP, Baroness Thornton and Shaz Shah, Co-Founder of the social enterprise Harry Specters.

The annual day aims to boost the number of consumers buying from Britain’s 70,000 plus social enterprises - businesses with a social mission that reinvest their profits for good.

Social Saturday is led by the national campaigning body, Social Enterprise UK, and supported by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Well-known social enterprises on the high street include The Big Issue, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, Better leisure centres, Divine Chocolate and Belu Water. These businesses are shining examples that businesses can do good. All reinvest their profits and positively impact on local communities and the environment.

Local councils are being invited to get involved and help rally groups and communities to get people through the doors of social enterprises within towns, cities and villages up and down the country.

Social investment opportunities

As well as buying social, people can also invest in social enterprises. There are different options for people wanting to invest their money to make a positive difference, from putting money in a social bank, a stocks and shares ISA, or investing directly into businesses. As well as buying from social enterprises, private companies are looking to invest into social enterprises. Centrica, Telefonica and Legal and General are all currently making investments.

The UK is regarded as a world leader in social investment, with the world’s first social investment bank and first social investment tax relief.

Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, said:

“Social Saturday is a great opportunity for people across the country to buy social and celebrate the fantastic role played by social enterprises. Social enterprises are leading the way in creating a vibrant and growing social economy, which is why Government is a Social Saturday partner for the third year running.”

Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK, said:

“Social enterprises across Britain are using the power of business as a force for good. They’re changing people’s lives for the better, helping with regeneration and protecting the environment from harm. Social Saturday is all about shining a spotlight on social enterprises. Just like ordinary businesses they sell products and services, but they’re different because they reinvest their profits to enable them to deliver on their social or environmental goal.”

Harry Specters

Mona Shah, Shaz Shah and their son Ash, who has autism, are behind this social enterprise. Ash came up with the name and a year later, Harry Specters was born - dedicated to crafting the most delicious chocolates that create employment for young people with autism. They are involved in every aspect of the business – from making and packaging the products to administration, design and photography. The chocolates have won numerous awards for their taste and hundreds of young people with autism have a brighter future.

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See more pictures from the launch on our Flickr page.

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