Politicians unite to launch UK’s first Social Saturday


BIS Minister Jo Swinson and Shadow Cabinet Minister Chi Onwurah to call on MPs to make sure their constituents ‘Buy Social’.

Visit the newly launched website: 


The UK’s first Social Saturday, taking place on 13 September 2014, will be launched today at a House of Commons reception for MPs and some of the UK’s best-loved social enterprises. Speakers will include Business Minister Jo Swinson, Shadow Cabinet Minister Chi Onwurah and social enterprise leaders John Bird, Founder of the Big Issue and Sophi Tranchell, MD of Divine Chocolate.

Take a look at some of the pictures from the Social Saturday launch party below.

The day is designed to significantly boost the number of consumers buying from Britain’s 70,000 plus social enterprises, businesses with a social mission that reinvest their profits for good.

Social Saturday is being led by the national campaigning body, Social Enterprise UK, and is supported by the Cabinet Office and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The day has cross party political support and is part of the UK’s successful Buy Social campaign.

The Buy Social campaign is in its second year, and has already been licensed for use in Australia and Canada, with licenses pending for China and the US. Watch the Buy Social animation, narrated by founder of the Big Issue, John Bird.

Business Minister Jo Swinson said:

“Social enterprises across the country bring huge benefits to their local communities, their employees and the environment. What we all want to see are businesses acting as a force for good, creating jobs and helping build a stronger, more sustainable economy. Social enterprises take this a step further by reinvesting their profits for the good of society. That is why I wholeheartedly support this year’s Social Saturday. It’s a great opportunity for all of us to become more aware of how our spending can make a real difference.”

Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK, said:

“The Buy Social campaign has one simple aim – to get people making purchases with social enterprises. Every product and service you buy has a social impact, so why not make it a good one? Consumers are getting wise to this already - they know that, when a factory collapses in Bangladesh, in the business of making clothes for our high-street stores, it’s a concern for every one of us. The UK’s social enterprise movement is growing fast because people do care about how their spending affects the wider world. The Buy Social campaign is about giving them the opportunity to identify the businesses that will help them change the world for good.”

Social Saturday website goes live

The Social Saturday website showcases 50 consumer-facing social enterprises and a map showing events taking place across the UK. Downloadable materials for social enterprises and local councils are also available to help with promotion.

Local councils are being invited to get involved and help rally groups and communities to get people through the doors of social enterprises within towns, cities and villages up and down the country.

To keep abreast of Social Saturday news and development follow the #socialsaturday hashtag on Twitter.

Social Saturday – part of the Buy Social campaign

The Buy Social campaign was co-created by Social Enterprise UK and its members to generate more business for social enterprises. Launched in 2012, previous activity has focused on supporting social enterprises and private sector businesses to buy social. Social Saturday kick starts a drive to reach out to consumers.

Future plans include supporting charities and universities to buy social. Social Enterprise UK is also working with Speaker of the House John Bercow, and Hazel Blears MP, to put Buy Social at the heart of Parliament procurement. This follows last year’s appointment of Belu Water as a supplier of bottled water to the House of Commons and House of Lords.

Media are welcome to attend the event in Parliament (6.30pm – 8.30pm, Wed 16 July). Please contact Sam or Fran to be registered - this is required for access.

Visit the Social Saturday website.