Social Enterprise UK has named Oxfordshire a “Social Enterprise Place” in recognition of the county’s proliferation of businesses that reinvest their profits for good.
Businesses and organisations with a clear social or environmental mission can be defined as social enterprises. Now, with the help of national campaigning and membership organisation Social Enterprise UK, countries, cities, towns and villages are declaring themselves Social Enterprise Places.
According to the organisation, Oxfordshire’s commitment to growing social enterprise communities by bringing together local councils, universities, businesses, charities, budding social entrepreneurs and local residents led to the decision to name it the first social enterprise country. Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK, said: “As a social enterprise place, Oxfordshire is being recognised for re-injecting life into local communities across the county, creating opportunities and local wealth, and changing lives for the better.”
To help raise awareness and encourage residents to buy from social enterprises, the county will host its first “Social Saturday,” this Saturday, 13th September. Prime Minister David Cameron, whose constituency, Witney, is in the county, said of the project: “Social enterprises trade to tackle some of the greatest challenges we face, from unemployment to food waste. The UK is home to the largest and fastest growing social enterprise sector.”
He added: “It’s fantastic that Oxfordshire is the first county to become a Social Enterprise Place – a beacon of social enterprise activity. Social Saturday is a great way to raise awareness of the vital and growing role social enterprises play in our economy and local communities in Oxfordshire and across the country”.