Arc news: July 2011
Social Enterprise Mark
Arc awarded Social Enterprise Mark
Barking & Dagenham-based Arc Theatre has been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark, which proves it is in business to provide more opportunities to help society and protect the environment.
The Social Enterprise Mark Company is the only authority which certifies genuine social enterprises, having society and the environment at the heart of the business. The Social Enterprise Mark will establish social enterprise as the business of choice for everyone, acting as a guarantee that a business is trading for people and planet.
Arc joins other ethical businesses that have been recognised by being awarded the Mark such as the Age UK, Eden Project, Big Issue, the Phone Coop and Fifteen London.
Government data estimates that there are 62,000 social enterprises across the UK, contributing £24 billion to the economy and employing around 800,000 people.
Recent research found that social enterprises are twice as confident of growth compared to typical small to medium enterprises (SMEs), with 48% of social enterprises saying they are positive about the future as opposed to just 24% of SMEs (The Social Enterprise Coalition's State of Social Enterprise Survey, 2009).
Social enterprises plough the majority of their profits back into activities that benefit people and planet, rather than just lining shareholders pockets. Social enterprises are working to make a difference across the UK and beyond, but not enough people know what they are or how they work. The Social Enterprise Mark aims to raise awareness of what social enterprises do in order to get more people to buy from, engage with, start up and work for social enterprises.
Arc's Artistic Director and CEO, Carole Pluckrose said: "We are delighted to announce that Arc has just received the prestigious Social Enterprise Mark. Social enterprises are flourishing. Although many people may have heard the name in the press in recent years, I suspect not everyone knows very much about them.
Social enterprises are businesses set up with the aim of supporting social goals. The money they make is invested in those goals, rather than with the main aim of making money for the business owners. Arc has in fact always run its business in this way, and with these values at the heart of what we do. So it’s fantastic to at last have a way to express these values and to be part of a movement of businesses from all sectors who have primarily social objectives.
The Social Enterprise Mark recognises our work at Arc in creating opportunities to improve society. To get it, we had to meet targets in benefiting people and the planet. Our passion is to make our contribution through the arts, in particular theatre and drama. We believe that involvement as participants and audiences brings opportunities to celebrate life, make new friends, learn new skills and develop creativity."
To find out more about the Social Enterprise Mark, visit http://www.socialenterprisemark.org.uk/
Read our Summer Newsletter to find out more about our B Safe B Cool transitions training programme, My Loose Head Community Play and Race Equality Forum Theatre for the London Borough of Havering.