Social enterprise kitemark to be used across the UK

National support body the Social Enterprise Coalition hopes to spread a kitemark for social enterprises across the UK.

The kitemark has been developed by Rise, a network for social enterprises in southwest England, to change the way social enterprises are perceived commercially (Third Sector, 9 May).

The mark, published for the first time here, will be launched tomorrow at a meeting held at Cornwall-based social enterprise the Eden Project.

Jonathan Bland, chief executive of the Social Enterprise Coalition, said the project could position social enterprise "squarely in the minds of consumers".

Some experts have warned that trying to regulate enterprises might diminish the sector's flexibility and flair.

Speaking at a debate this month during Social Enterprise week, Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of Social Enterprise London, said: "Getting a quality mark for social enterprise would be very difficult because you would have to regulate over the widest spectrum of commercial and non-commercial activity."

But Lucy Findlay, chief executive of Rise, emphasised it was a broad endorsement rather than a quality mark. "I don't think this would restrict enterprises at all, because it is really just an enhancement of the Government definition of what enterprise is, and the criteria are still so broad," she said.

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