What is the campaign about?

Choose Communities: Buy Social is all about the impact social enterprises are having on communities across the UK and around the world. It’s about raising the profile of a different way of doing business – one which puts people, communities and the planet at the heart of how it works.

When the nation went into lockdown in the Spring and the pandemic hit hard, social enterprises were often on the forefront of community responses to the crisis – being businesses set up to support communities, it was in their DNA to do so. Social enterprises were out delivering food and medicines to vulnerable people, helping the homeless find shelters or setting up helplines and digital platforms to keep on supporting the people they were set up to help. Many pivoted their entire business models to keep on supporting their communities – shifting to making vital masks and PPE.

With a third of all community health care services delivered by social enterprises they were also on the front-line of the pandemic, making sure people continued to receive they care they needed.

Building Back Better

We’re by no means out of the pandemic but we know that when it finally passes we cannot go back to business as usual. COVID-19 exposed the deep inequalities already present in our country – inequalities of health, wealth, race, gender and class. How we do business is critical to addressing these inequalities, which is why the social enterprise model is so important. They are businesses created to reduce inequalities, they’re creating jobs and opportunities and are set up to create value for their communities. That’s why this campaign is so important – we all have a role to play in creating the world we want to live in. We can use our spending power to support business as usual or we can choose something better – we can #BuySocial and choose communities.

Here are three social enterprises on sale at the Co-op selling consumer goods, each one giving back to the communities they are set up to support.

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Choose Communities – Buy Social is supported by:


Cafédirect

Cafédirect is a social enterprise looking to rebalance the terms of trade to support coffee farmers.Read more

Hey Girls

Sanitary products battling period povertyRead more

Toast Ale

Toast Ale is a social enterprise on a mission to end food waste, selling award-winning beers made from surplus fresh bread that would otherwise have gone to waste.Read more