Buying Social: we are a Social EnterpriseBuying Social is a key concept for Organic Blooms and our open morning last Saturday was an opportunity for us to talk to visitors about our Social Enterprise – the reason we exist.

Our hearts sank slightly as Saturday dawned wet and windy, but it didn’t stop our intrepid visitors. We had a good flow of lovely people throughout the morning, all eager see our fields, hear about what we do and enjoy the wonderful harmonies of the thoroughly entertaining Frampton Shantymen, our wandering minstrels for the morning. The sun was even out by the end!

Buying Social: Sarah, one of our lovely visitors

One of our lovely open morning visitors

Thanks so much to all our stall holders and all of you who ventured into the inclement weather to come and see us. You made the most of the fabulous array of stalls, the opportunity to buy & cut our flowers, stock up on plants and indulge in scrumptious cakes and a cuppa. Each of you can be proud that you Bought Social: the proceeds from refreshments, flowers and plants – just over £1000 – all go back into our certified Social Enterprise and will help us to train and support our wonderful trainees, each of whom lives with a mental health condition and/or a learning disability.

Next week from 7-13 October, is #BuySocial for a better world week. So what is a Social Enterprise and what does it mean to Buy Social? Very simply, a Social Enterprise is a business that aims to make a profit but reinvests or donates at least 50% of that profit to create positive social change. All Social Enterprises have a clear social or environmental mission. Social Enterprise UK, which promotes and supports social business, has made an excellent short film with Chris Addison and Michael Sheen which beautifully explains the concept of a Social Enterprise.

Buying SocialWhen you Buy Social – buying a high quality product or service from a Social Enterprise – you are making a positive contribution to social change, whether it is empowering disadvantaged women with baking; retraining offenders to brew craft beer, teaching low income communities to cook quick, healthy, low cost meals, increasing biodiversity, employing homeless people or – like Organic Blooms – training and supporting people marginalised by mental health conditions or learning difficulties. The list is pretty much endless, but a great place to start Buying Social (other than Organic Blooms!) are the delicious lavosh flatbreads from Bristol social enterprise Step and Stone, who had a stall with us on Saturday. Like us, they train and employ people with learning difficulties.

Buying Social: a sea of table decorations for PwC

The sea of table decorations for Buy Social supporter PwC

You may well have Bought Social without realising it – perhaps you’ve met a friend for coffee in a café that is also a Social Enterprise. We – and the team behind #buysocial for a better world – want to encourage you to make a conscious effort to Buy Social. Every purchase from a Social Enterprise by an individual or a business, helps to change things for the better for people and for our planet. Professional services firm PwC is a big supporter of Buying Social and we were delighted that they ordered table arrangements for their Building Public Trust Awards event from us this week.

Later this autumn, Social Enterprise UK will be launching a brand new platform to help you find the products and services that you need from Social Enterprises – we’ll tell you about it when it launches. There are over 100,000 Social Enterprises in the UK with myriad social missions, so there is plenty out there to choose from!