5 ways to buy social this Social Saturday

This Saturday is #SocialSaturday2017, an annual campaign run by Social Enterprise UK inspiring consumers to buy from social ventures across the UK.

Statistics from a recent government report suggest that it’s never been easier to buy from a business with a social purpose. One in every five small businesses in the UK have a social mission beyond profit. That’s means there’s around 1.21 million social ventures in the UK.

With so much choice we’ve picked five places where your money can help make the world a better place.#

The Exchange CIC

Founded by Jo Barmbrough, Beki Melrose and Melody Treasure, The Exchange is a hub of creativity and culture in Morecambe. It runs creative courses, projects and a “brew bar” to help people get creative with projects.

You can find locally made art, crafts and gifts for sale in The Exchange’s shop with all profits being used to deliver free access to workshops for locals.

Read more about The Exchange CIC and other social entrepreneurs working in Morecambe.

Papi’s Pickles

A family run social venture, founded by Abi Ramanan, her mother and her aunt. They serve delicious home-made South Indian pickles, cater events and serve food at pop-ups and street food markets.

Based in London, they are supporting women who relocated to the UK following the conflict in Sri Lanka. These women adapting to a new country and culture faced particular challenges to finding employment. Papi’s Pickles provides meaningful work, a London living wage and flexibility to suit each individuals’ needs.

Want to learn more about Papi's Pickles? We interviewed Abi to find out about the Sri Lankan food startup cooking up a storm.

SoFab Sports

Based in Gloucester, the father and son team behind SoFab Sports want to give young adults with disabilities the confidence and skills to find employment. They sell sports equipment and clothing at their high street store in Gloucester. Alongside this they encourage inclusive participation in UK sport clubs.

‘The way we do that is to have a sports shop in central Gloucester and we have created 13 paid employment opportunities,’ founder Chris explains. ‘We also run community football and cricket sessions. We’re the largest providers of disability football in the UK, including all of the professional sides who are funded through the FA and the Premier League.’

Canvas Coffee

If you’re in Portsmouth then check out Canvas Coffee, a specialty coffee shop in Portsmouth & Southsea station. It serves high quality coffee made by expert baristas. Founder Pravin explains, "People come in because of the great coffee and our brand. Most customers don’t realise the coffee they buy is doing good."

Behind the scenes Canvas Coffee helps those in the early stages of recovery from addiction. Barista skills training programmes are open to all, but are designed to help those in recovery break the cycle of social isolation.

Nemi Tea

This London-based tea company serves a huge variety of tea blends from Spicy Chai to Earl Grey. Nemi Teas are stocked in cafes across the capital and run tea stalls at food markets, festivals and events.

What makes them truly stand out is their commitment to create opportunities for refugee communities. Nemi Tea’s stalls are run by refugees giving staff the chance to improve their English, gain confidence and learn skills to find meaningful employment in the UK.

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Author Info


Flynn Butterworth

I joined UnLtd in 2016 after previously working in China and for a UK government backed scheme to help people start their own business. I’m focussed on spreading the achievements of social entrepreneurs and sharing UnLtd’s stories. I want to see pragmatic responses to challenges facing society.

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