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Procurement initiative commits to £1 billion spend with social enterprises

Jun 14, 2016

The Buy Social Corporate Challenge, launched at Downing Street, saw a number of high profile businesses, supported by Social Enterprise UK and the Cabinet Office, commit to procuring goods and services to the value of £1 billion with social enterprises by the end of 2020. Firms that have signed up to the initiative include:
  • Interserve
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • PwC
  • RBS Group
  • Santander
  • Wates
  • Zurich
All partners of the initiative are supported to train their procurement teams on how to source and buy from social enterprises, and the advantages of doing so. Support includes:
  • A review of their supply chain and benchmarking existing social enterprise spend
  • Training for procurement teams
  • Brokerage support
  • Advice and support on how to measure the impact of their spend with social enterprises and how to use this in sustainability reporting/bid writing
According to Social Enterprise UK, procuring from social enterprises gives private sector organisations the opportunity to be a force for good in the communities in which they operate. They can help businesses to meet their supplier diversity aims and often bring with them innovation and creativity. More businesses are also buying goods and services from social enterprises as a result of wanting to demonstrate their commitment to social value and to comply with the Social Value Act. Peter Holbrook, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, stated: “Big businesses are waking up to the potential of their supply chains, rather than CSR budgets, to deliver meaningful social change. Buying from social enterprises places sustainability at the very heart of a business, creates innovation and helps support the growth of organisations that are tackling some of society’s most pressing problems. I applaud all of the partners who have already signed up to the Buy Social Corporate Challenge for their leadership in this space and encourage others to get involved.” Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, further added: “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 and I am delighted to launch it from Downing Street today.” Read the full article here Operating in over 125 business sectors, Thornton & Lowe provide a complete range of bid management, consultancy and business mentoring services, supporting our clients to bid for and win public and private sector contracts. Our highly successful bid management function ranges from developing high level bid strategies, qualifications tools and training, to assist our clients with PQQs, ITTs and proposals. You can contact a member of our bid-management team at one of our offices across the UK. Greater Manchester – 01204 238 096, Midlands – 0121 523 1051, Central Scotland – 01334 208 312, North East – 0191 580 0636, London – 203 405 1850 or email:

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