Senscot refuses to act as Scottish partner for the social enterprise mark

Scottish social entrepreneurs network protests at relaxation of entry criteria for mark

Senscot, the Scottish social entrepreneurs network, has said it believes changes to the social enterprise mark's entry criteria are "shortsighted", and has refused to act as the Scottish partner for the mark.

In an email bulletin to members, Senscot founder Laurence DeMarco said that the organisations did not support the decision to soften the "asset lock", which defines the amount of annual profit a company must retain to re-invest in its social purpose under the mark, which was launched nationally last week after a local pilot.

The new rules allow mark holders to distribute up to 50 per cent of their profits, compared with the 35 per cent permitted under a pilot version of the mark.

The decision was taken to help the swift spread of the mark, with 2,000 mark holders targeted in the mark's first year.

"We argued our corner, but towards the end of the process more persuasive forces, probably Whitehall, have determined that the eligibility criteria for the social enterprise mark should be softened," said DeMarco.

"Our soundings with Scottish colleagues confirm our own view that this strategy is shortsighted and not the route we would choose in Scotland."

In a letter to Scottish social enterprises, Senscot said it would support a version of the mark for Scotland if it retained the stricter asset lock originally proposed.

The Social Enterprise Coalition, which developed the mark in conjunction with social enterprise leaders and the Office of the Third Sector, declined to comment.


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