Social Enterprise in the Modern Day
  • Online delivery

Save event

The idea of social enterprises, businesses which make profits to fund social projects, has been rapidly growing in recent years and the South West has been at the heart of this movement. 

The University of Plymouth was the first university in the world to be awarded the Social Enterprise Mark in recognition of working as a genuine social enterprise, caring for communities and protecting the planet. As a ‘global enterprise city’ and one of the first ‘Social Enterprise Cities’, Plymouth is a social enterprise ‘hot spot’. Plymouth Social Enterprise Network (PSEN) is one of the most active and leading networks in the UK. Increasing numbers of organisations, businesses, customers and citizens are coming into contact with social enterprises as producers, suppliers and partners. Setting up or getting involved with a social enterprise as a way of making a difference is an attractive proposition. 

This conference is aimed at:

  • Those who have little knowledge of social enterprise. This conference will act as a starting point of where the sector is today.
  • Those who are social enterprises or work with them. The conference will address key issues facing the sector throughout the UK, and how individual social enterprises might grow.

We have divided the day so that the two morning sessions are primarily looking at the macro nature of the sector, where it is currently, and where it is and should be going. The two afternoon sessions address more practical issues of how social enterprises can survive, grow and develop. 

We hope that these four sessions will stimulate your thoughts, offer insights and hints and tips and provide a good means of networking with similarly minded people across the UK.


10:00-10:05 | Welcome - Dr Nigel Jackson, University of Plymouth

10:05-11:05 | Looking back to look forwards? - Lucy Findlay MBE, Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark CIC, the international social enterprise accreditation authority

11:15-12:15 | Fair trade enterprises as pioneers of a new economy - Erinch Sahan, Chief Executive of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO)

12:15-13:00 | Lunch

13:00-14:00 | Digital routes to building a social enterprise brand - Jimmy Leach, Founder Zinzan Digital

14:15-15:15 | Is a socially purposed supply chain the future of procurement? - Jo Parkes-Newton and David Shields, Co-Founders, Value Match Foundation

15:15-15:30 | Closing comments and discussion

Previous July 2021 Next
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31 1

Today's events


Looking back to look forwards?

An understanding of the roots of social enterprise to gain a view of how social enterprise can grow and expand to help society more forwards and lead the business world?

About the speaker

Lucy Findlay MBE is the founding Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark CIC, the international social enterprise accreditation authority.

Lucy is publicly recognised as a key player in the sector and over the last ten years has developed the Social Enterprise Mark from a regional project to an internationally available accreditation, providing a clear standard for the social enterprise sector and added social value. She has been recognised through sector awards, as well as mainstream business awards. 

She was also appointed an MBE in the 2019 Queen’s New Year Honours, in recognition of her contribution to the social enterprise sector.

Session 1: 10:05-11:05

Speaker: Lucy Findlay MBE

Fair trade enterprises as pioneers of a new economy

This session will draw from the origins of the Fair Trade movement and the latest innovations to explore a particular model of social enterprises fully practising fair trade. It will explore:

  • What distinguishes social enterprises to consumers, activists and policymakers?
  • Can consumers alone drive the spread of social enterprise?
  • What is the role of social enterprise in the era of pandemics, spiralling inequality and ecological crisis?
  • What can the social enterprise movement learn from the Fair Trade movement, and how do they intersect?

About the speaker

Erinch Sahan is the Chief Executive of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). Established in 1989, WFTO is the global community and verifier of social enterprises that fully practise fair trade. 

Previously, Erinch spent seven years at Oxfam leading campaign and advocacy teams, and founding Oxfam’s Future of Business Initiative. He has also worked at Procter & Gamble as a market strategy manager, established a furniture business and worked in Indonesia for Australia's aid programme. He also regularly lectures on sustainable business at a range of universities and writes extensively on social enterprise models. 

Erinch holds an honorary doctorate from Oxford Brookes University and has an academic background in law and finance.

Session 2: 11:15-12:15

Speaker: Erinch Sahan

Digital routes to building a social enterprise brand

This session will be discussing how to build a brand and grow an organisation to a digitally-dominated audience.

About the speaker

Jimmy Leach has had an eclectic career. 

In government he has been Head of Digital Communications in Downing Street and at the Foreign Office (and advised a number of overseas governments too). In media he has been Executive Editor at the Guardian; Director for Digital at the Independent and Editor in Chief at HuffPost UK. 

He runs his own strategic agency and has worked in digital comms at consumer-led agency Freuds and at public affairs agency Portland.

Session 3: 13:00-14:00

Speaker: Jimmy Leach

Is a socially purposed supply chain the future of procurement?

Join us to discuss how the creation of benefits for society is having a significant positive impact on modern procurement practices. 

Buyers from all sectors are increasingly seeking value-based partnerships with their suppliers, but what does this look like in practice? How can social enterprises, as businesses with values and purpose at their heart, communicate to buyers, the positive impacts that they inherently create?

As specialists in procurement and supply chains, we will be discussing how as buyers and suppliers, we can make sure that through establishing a ‘socially purposed procurement cycle’, that commissioning from values-based businesses, is always the starting point of everyone’s shopping list.

About the speakers: Jo Parkes-Newton and David Shields

Qualifying as a barrister in 1995, Jo moved into procurement in 2000, specialising in commissioning social benefit and value outcomes for over a decade. Jo and David set up the Value Match consortium in Feb 2020. Jo founded Value Match Consulting, which provides commercial leadership and practical expertise for procurement, social benefit creation and embedding Values into business.

Jo originated the Six Values approach to social benefit creation, based on the duties of Directors under s172 of the Companies Act 2006: Responsible Action; People; Sustainable Prosperity; Environment; Communities and Relationships. These Values underpin the Value Match Maturity Model which is a framework for organisations to embed Purpose and Values into business.

David working with Jo brought the Value Match concept to fruition because of his extensive experience of developing and implementing market, organisational and functional strategies aligned to values and goals. 

David works at a senior executive level across public, private, and civil society. David has proven ability to deliver stretching targets while managing significant cultural change, not least demonstrated by his roles managing transformational change for the US Federal Government and as Managing Director of the UK's Government Procurement Service. David is a NED of Social Value UK and is leading working on a programme focusing upon increasing the economic, social and environmental impact delivered through procurement.

Session 4: 14:15-15:15

Speakers: Jo Parkes-Newton and David Shields

Event photography and video

Please be aware that some of the University of Plymouth's public events (both online and offline) may be attended by University staff, photographers and videographers, for capturing content to be used in University online and offline marketing and promotional materials, for example webpages, brochures or leaflets. If you, or a member of your group, do not wish to be photographed or recorded, please let a member of staff know.