-This story has been corrected; please see final paragraph
The social enterprise mark will be available internationally, the company that awards it has announced.
The mark, which guarantees that a company has social objectives and a strict asset lock, was yesterday registered as a community trademark in the European Union.
Lucy Findlay, managing director of the Social Enterprise Mark Company, said any social enterprise in the EU could now apply for the mark. She said that work was continuing to register it in the US, Australia, India, Canada and South Africa.
"Setting an international standard for a common understanding of social enterprise is crucial to the development of the sector across the world," she said.
"This is an important step in developing a worldwide position where genuine social enterprises are recognised.
"We are thrilled that the process is now concluded in the European Union. We are continuing to work with key partners around the world to investigate the mark’s applicability in their local circumstances."
She said a social enterprise mark had recently been launched in Finland, and that her company would provide support to the Finnish organisation that awarded it.
The Social Enterprise Mark Company recently became independent after the closure of its owner, the regional social enterprise umbrella body Rise. It has also launched a campaign that asks companies to buy from social enterprises – the 50 in 250 campaign is supported by KPMG, the City of London Corporation and Wates Construction.
The mark was launched in early 2010 and has been awarded to 462 organisations.
- A social enterprise mark has been launched in Finland by the government, however the Social Enterprise Mark Company said it "has reservations about its practical implementation". The Social Enterprise Mark Company has said it will continue to support the local social enterprise body, Syfo, which is not connected to the mark.