£123m spent in the last year with social enterprises thanks to Buy Social Corporate Challenge

Corporate supply chains are changing. Big businesses increasingly look at environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations when it comes to who they spend their money with, and we’ve been at the heart of this shift.

Our Buy Social Corporate Challenge is now entering its ninth year of supporting big businesses to bring social enterprises into their supply chains. Since launching at Downing Street in 2016, £477 million has been spent with social enterprises by 30 major corporate partners across all business sectors.

The premise of the Challenge is simple: working with corporates to use their core business spend to create positive social and environmental impact. Buying from social enterprises allows companies to make progress across ESG priorities, through spending their money with organisations dedicated to addressing social issues and protecting our planet.

Our latest annual report shows the Challenge had the most successful year ever, as partners spent £123 million with social enterprise suppliers. These range from businesses tackling period poverty and re-purposing old office furniture to those creating jobs for people marginalised by the labour market – such as those experiencing homelessness, refugees and the long-term unemployed.

Around 4,515 social enterprise jobs have been created thanks to contracts won through the Challenge, with 992 social enterprises supplying Challenge partners last year alone. The number of trading relationships between social enterprise suppliers and Challenge buyers has increased by 74% in just the last two years, showing rising interest in social procurement.

Charlie Wigglesworth, Deputy Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK, said:

“These latest results show that our Buy Social Corporate Challenge is not some well-meaning experiment for businesses willing to try something different – it’s a powerful force for change in corporate supply chains. We’re proud to see social enterprise at the forefront of this transformation.

“Crucially, every single one of our corporate partners reported that social enterprises deliver comparable or higher quality products or services compared with other suppliers – a glowing endorsement and reminder that doing business with purpose beyond profit doesn’t mean compromising on standards.

“With millions being reinvested in people and planet through our Challenge and the wider social procurement movement, we hope our vital work continues to inspire the public and private sectors to take action for the future of business.”

Click here to read the Buy Social Corporate Challenge Year 8 Impact Report

The Buy Social Corporate Challenge partners are Amey, AstraZeneca, AXA, CBRE, Compass/Foodbuy, Co-op, Deloitte, Equans, EY, John Sisk & Son Ltd, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, Landmarc Support Services, Lendlease, Linklaters, LV=, Mitie, Nationwide, Nestle, NFU Mutual, PwC, Robertson Group, SAP, Siemens, Sodexo, The Crown Estate, Wates Group, Willmott Dixon, and Zurich Insurance Group.

To find out more about our social procurement work and how your business can get involved in our programmes click here or contact