Social Enterprise is becoming increasingly popular as a business model but what differentiates it from other businesses? Whilst the desire to generate profit remains, the difference lies in how this profit will be used. A social enterprise applies commercial strategies to tackle a social or environmental issue, creating a more responsible way of doing business. Put simply, rather than the profits from a business going towards one (or a group of) very fortunate individual, the profits are used to tackle real issues to make a difference.
At COINS Foundation we have an array of various social enterprises where 100% of the profits are used for our projects both in the UK and around the world. As a consumer we have a certain degree of power – without our custom, businesses cannot flourish, therefore, it is our responsibility to expect more from them and ensure that they use their success in a positive way. In many cases, you can show your support without changing your daily activities, where instead of buying your coffee from a popular chain, you purchase it from a social enterprise café instead.
We’ve put together 6 easy ways that you can support our social enterprises and in turn, our projects:
1: Buy your coffee from The Cookie Bar
The Cookie Bar is a unique café in Hindhead, Surrey. The café offers delicious snacks and beverages with 100% of their profits being reinvested into our projects where 50% goes towards Stepping Stones School. Stepping Stones originated for children with mild to moderate disabilities who may have struggled to flourish in mainstream education and the incredible success resulted in an increase in demand for spaces and a need to open a second school, Undershaw. Students benefit from work experience at The Cookie Bar where they can gain experience and confidence in a safe and forgiving environment. So for our local coffee lovers, if spending a few pounds on a coffee is part of your daily budget, skip the chain stores and head to The Cookie Bar for your caffeine fix.
2: Visit Hotel Birgkarhaus
It’s not a trick – you can go on a luxury holiday and feel good about it. Not far from Salzburg, nestled at the foot of Hochkonig, the second largest ski area in the Alps, the warm and welcoming Hotel Birgkarhaus commands spectacular views and offers the perfect location for those skiing fanatics. With recently refurbished rooms, delicious menus and a spa and wellness centre there is something to offer everyone. Corporate packages are also available and set in the Austrian mountains it really is the perfect location for both summer and winter outdoor activities. Gather your friends and family – it’s time for a holiday.
3: Hire the Cookie Bar Bus
In 2015 we converted a routemaster double decker bus into a mobile version of The Cookie Bar that travels around the country to festivals and events. Our aim was to help to spread the word and to bring The Cookie Bar to more venues. Our bus has attended a number of events, whether these are a single day festival or a week stint at offices in London, it definitely makes its mark wherever we park up! In addition to public events we also hire it out for private functions, birthdays or corporate events so if you’d like to make your event unique or that office party a bit more memorable (for the right reason), drop us a message.
4: Purchase a film from Crossform Media
Crossform Media are a UK based media production company that bring cinematic quality video to businesses and creates extraordinary visual content to help brands grow. As a social enterprise any surplus profits go towards our projects and the production of films for NGOs and charities. This is probably not one for most individuals but if your company is discussing a possible rebrand or are looking at getting some promotional films produced, keep them in mind – you definitely won’t regret it!
5: Contract Cookies
If Hindhead is a little far out of your normal commute don’t despair because we have the solution. Boxes of 10 freshly baked cookies of assorted flavours can be delivered straight to your door on a monthly basis. They’re a great treat for the office and for any visitors that come in for a meeting it demonstrates your values as a company. For those home-based workers don’t worry, there’s no reason you have to miss out, why not treat the family too!
6: Spread the word
As a generation we like to share with our friends and family, whether that’s a picture of a meal you’ve cooked on Instagram, showing your dedication to fitness by checking in at the gym on Facebook or even a video from a night out with friends – telling the world is just a click away. This is where we need you to help us to spread the word about social enterprise, our projects and encourage other consumers and businesses to follow suit. Tell your family, tell your friends, tell strangers – help us to make a difference and use business as a force for good.