Why certification? Benefits for social enterprises

Jan 31st, 2023

Calling all businesses who are a force for good! Verify your social impact with social enterprise certification to show stakeholders, clients, and your team that you put your money where your mouth is and contribute to community wellbeing.

A social enterprise is a business that:

  • Sells goods or services
  • Embeds a social, cultural or environmental purpose into the business
  • Reinvests the majority of profits into their social mission

Do you match these criteria? Then you’re ready for Buy Social Canada Social Enterprise Certification.

What’s the value of certification?

Verify your impact

Distinguish yourself from other businesses by demonstrating your community impact and showing that your profits are reinvested into your mission.

When you become certified, you receive a certificate and badge verifying that the impact you make is deeply embedded into the business’ structure and goals, rather than being an add-on or marketing tool.

We verify your impact and structure by reviewing business:

  • Financial documents
  • Mission statement
  • Incorporation documents

Social enterprises are diverse, and our certification process considers your mission, impact, and processes rather than just your corporate status. We work closely with you to understand your model and how our standards apply.

Grow your business

Purchasers are increasingly putting a social value into their purchasing criteria, and certification increases your visibility for these social purchasers while providing evidence of your identity as a social enterprise and your commitment to social value.

Certified Social Enterprises are listed on the national Buy Social Canada Social Enterprise Directory, which currently has 196 enterprises providing everything from coffee and catering to financial services, to landscaping and waste management, while working to address a myriad of social, cultural, and environmental missions.

Social enterprises are added to supplier lists shared quarterly with our purchasing partners and clients who are looking to add social enterprise to their supply chains and given access to Buy Social Canada trade shows and events as vendors or exhibitors.

Social enterprise stories are amplified in our monthly newsletter, in blog posts, and on social media, boosting recognition for the work Certified Social Enterprises do and the value you bring.

Your certification with Buy Social Canada also grants you access to two other social enterprise verification networks: Logo des entreprises d’économie sociale, for Quebec-based social enterprises and social economy businesses, and the Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) Social Enterprise Verification.

Get coaching and support

Our staff offers every Certified Social Enterprise 2 hours of direct consulting support on anything from business and financial advice, marketing and communications, and contract or opportunity-specific supports such as responding to RFPs or reviewing contracts.

For capacity-building, Certified Social Enterprises receive discounts on Buy Social Canada trainings and events.

Build your network

We host two regional roundtables, one for Vancouver and one for the Greater Toronto Area, and a national Community of Practice discussion for everyone engaged in social enterprise and social procurement. These meetings (often hosted virtually) are a powerful way to share stories, network, hear about contract opportunities, and connect with like-minded individuals.

Be part of the social value marketplace revolution

With their core purpose to create a more equitable and inclusive society on a sustainable planet, social enterprises are the business model of the future.

Social enterprise will play a key role in the creation of a social value marketplace: a marketplace that contributes to building community wealth, rather than a market based on extracting human and natural value to create private assets.

Become certified and share your Certified Social Enterprise Badge to grow your business and grow the movement for a social value marketplace putting people and the planet first.

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