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'Buy Social' database to promote social enterprises

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 10:26 GMT Jump to Comments

The new Buy Social Directory will enable businesses to purchase only from suppliers that operate ethically and support the needs of their own communities.

A new, free online resource, the Buy Social Directory, allows public and private sector organisations to search for social enterprises by location, sector, or CPV (public procurement) code.

It will direct businesses and other interested parties to one of 10,000 UK-based social enterprise suppliers; companies with a social or environmental mission alongside profitability. 

Gathering at the launch of the new tool yesterday, Sinéad Butters, Chief Executive of the Aspire Group, said: “Many businesses and public organisations want to buy from social enterprises, but they don’t know where to look to find them.

"The Buy Social Directory will be the place to find social enterprises. That will help those businesses to win contracts and to grow and it will bring millions of pounds worth of social benefits to the people who those social enterprises support.”

Mark Boleat, Policy Chairman at the City of London Corporation, added: “This new directory will provide a user friendly resource that will make it easier for private and public buyers to maximise social value in their procurement decisions.

"If social enterprises are to continue making a positive impact on communities through sustainable growth, we need to raise awareness of what they can offer and widen their customer base.”

Last month, Peter Holbrook from the Social Economy Alliance wrote for The Information Daily, saying that local leaders should more readily back the social economy.

"Social economy organisations, such as cooperatives and social enterprises, are addressing some of the biggest challenges that put a strain on localities: housing shortages, energy poverty and debt, among others," he said.

"The money they spend on procurement and commissioning could be spent with social enterprises that often provide added social benefit, making the taxpayers pound go much further."

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