North East Apprenticeship Company achieves ‘Ethical’ Business Award

Gateshead based North East Apprenticeship Company (NEAC) has been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark, which proves they are in business to provide more opportunities to help society and protect the environment.

The Social Enterprise Mark Company is the only authority which certifies genuine social enterprises, having society and the environment at the heart of the business. The Social Enterprise Mark will establish social enterprise as the business of choice for everyone, acting as a guarantee that a business is trading for people and planet.

NEAC joins other ethical businesses that have been recognised by being awarded the Mark such as the Age UK, Eden Project, Big Issue, the Phone Coop and Fifteen London.

Government data estimates that there are 62,000 social enterprises across the UK, contributing £24 billion to the economy and employing around 800,000 people.

Recent research found that social enterprises are twice as confident of growth compared to typical small to medium enterprises (SMEs), with 48% of social enterprises saying they are positive about the future as opposed to just 24% of SMEs (The Social Enterprise Coalition’s State of Social Enterprise Survey, 2009).

Social enterprises plough the majority of their profits back into activities that benefit people and planet, rather than just lining shareholders pockets.  Social enterprises are working to make a difference across the UK and beyond, but not enough people know what they are or how they work. The Social Enterprise Mark aims to raise awareness of what social enterprises do in order to get more people to buy from, engage with, start up and work for social enterprises.

Paul Champion NEAC CEO said,  “We’re really proud to have been awarded the Social Enterprise Mark.  NEAC is absolutely committed to supporting sustainable businesses and consequently helping local communities to thrive and prosper”.

Lucy Findlay, Managing Director, Social Enterprise Mark Company, advised:

“We are delighted to award the prestigious Social Enterprise Mark to NEAC.  Social enterprises come in all shapes and forms so it’s great to see a vital, local Apprenticeship Company understanding the importance of being part of the wider social enterprise movement.”

“As the only certification process for social enterprise, the Mark guarantees businesses meet defined criteria, enabling consumers to recognise that they are trading to benefit people and planet. It also helps those businesses promote their business ethics and values. We hope that the Social Enterprise Mark will do for social enterprise what the Fairtrade Mark did for fair trade.”

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