Lucy Findlay (30 July 2014)

Lucy Findlay studied Geography and Town Planning at university before deciding that she preferred to work with people.  She identified a gap in the market where social enterprises were not certified, and set up the Social Enterprise Mark, which raises the profile and reputation of businesses which are awarded the Mark.

The Social Enterprise Mark’s unique selling point is that they focus on the social credentials of companies.  The standard which they have set for companies that want the Mark is that 50% of the company’s profit is used for social and environmental purposes. The Social Enterprise Mark have the right to check all the companies that hold the Mark annually.

Lucy said that there were a lot of challenges when she first started the business. She advised BBE students to choose the right company partners, down to the board members as well, who need to have the same vision for the company to thrive. Also, to consider carefully the value of government funding if it comes with strings attached.  She added that one of the most important things to sell a product is to get the pricing right from the beginning. People don’t always value what is free.

The Social Enterprise Mark was founded during the recession, which they survived and thrived from. They now have 5 experts on board as a certification panel.   The Social Enterprise Mark still continues to grow every year, especially with much interest from businesses outside the UK.

Based on a report by Maliha Anis Matta