Why Buy Social?

When we focus on ‘best value for money’ procurement is much more than a financial transaction, it is a tool for building healthy communities.

Social procurement decisions build community capital, not just economic capital, and it generates intentional community benefits. As social enterprise sales grow, they are able to achieve increased social value goals; such as hiring more persons with barriers, creating training and employment development opportunities, advancing diverse culture, enhancing social inclusion, or contributing to local economies.

When you buy from a social enterprise a ripple effect occurs in your community:

What is Social Procurement?

Social procurement is leveraging a social value from your existing procurement. Social procurement adds a social value consideration to your current evaluation of price, quality, and environment of the goods and services you purchase.

“Encouraging a shift towards procurement based on achieving multiple outcomes in addition to maximizing financial value.”

— Barraket et al, Social Procurement and New Public Governance, 2016.

Social procurement can be broken down into two different methodologies or ways of implementation: one is social purchasing of goods and services (i.e. from social enterprise suppliers) and the other is Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) in infrastructure development.

Learn more by visiting our Learning Opportunities and our Documents and Resources pages.


How Do I Buy Social?

It’s never been easier to Buy Social – social enterprises are all around us, including catering, maintenance, furniture, home repairs, cleaners, musicians, and more, all adding value to your needed goods and services.

As an organization, you can implement social purchasing by:

  • Adding a social value consideration to existing purchases
  • Adjusting the criteria considerations for purchasing products and services
  • Weighting the value of criteria
  • Evaluating bids and vendors to achieve goals

Our growing list of Buy Social Certified suppliers easily connects purchasers with businesses committed to producing social good. Visit our Social Enterprise Directory and learn how you can become a certified purchaser or supplier to begin profiting from social purchasing. 

Visit our partner's site, Akcelos, for a national, bilingual, and searchable social enterprise database and e-commerce site.