Its Small Business Saturday: Profit for purpose

Boldies please support your local social enterprise businesses who are founded for a purpose

Published by Nigel Pritchard on Dec 05, 2020

Saturday November the 5th is small business Saturday, and this is important because most small businesses are the lifeblood of both the local community and wider economy.

The news is peppered with gloomy stories of the recession to come once the lockdowns end and we are weaned off government support. Some commentators are claiming that the recession will be greater than anything we saw in the financial crash.

As we have seen in times of financial stress it is usually the poorer and more vulnerable elements of society that bear the brunt of any economic downturn.

The former UK prime minister Gordon Brown, at the virtual Social Enterprise Futures conference, said “The post-Covid recovery cannot happen without the contribution of social enterprises.” Going onto say that market forces and “unsocial” enterprises cannot be relied on to solve “the intractable problems of climate change, poverty, inequality and discrimination on their own.”

In Brown’s view social enterprises will have a greater role in overcoming them and in meeting the momentous challenges of a post pandemic world.

In the UK there are over 450 thousand social enterprise businesses employing some 1.4 million people and contributing 60bn to the UK economy. Many of them are small and micro businesses, re-investing their profits into purposeful activities.

Take for example the Ignition brewery based in Sydenham, co-founded by Will Evans and Nick O’Shea, who said that they had started their business focussing on delivering job creation for those with learning difficulties rather than the ultimate pint.

Speaking on the Intellectual Property Office blog Will Evans said that a social enterprise has three basic characteristics. It relies on its own income for its financial stability, profits are reinvested in the enterprise and part of what the business does must produce social benefit.

Breadwinners which is a grassroots charity providing employment and training for refugees and young people seeking asylum is another example. They employ refugees to sell in their own words “the highest quality artisan bread on farmer’s markets across London and manage our online delivery. “

Then there is, Change Please a coffee company, who say “It may be bold to say a great cup of coffee changed your life, but it can change someone else’s for the better. We use the profits from that cup of coffee to train people experiencing homelessness to be baristas and give them a Living Wage paying job. Now you have a truly Life Changing cup of coffee.”

Three great examples of small businesses who re-invest their profits purposefully. What a BOLD way to build a brand and we for one hope that our Boldies, nationwide, support these amazing small businesses.