Accreditation launches for disabled-welcoming social enterprises

Social enterprise accreditation authority, Social Enterprise Mark CIC, has launched a new standard for social enterprises and supported businesses that support the employment of disabled people.

The Social Enterprise Disabilty Employment Mark (SEDEM) aims to provide assurance for commissioners, funding bodies and disabled people on the specialist supportive environment provided for employees with disabilities.

The new mark was developed alongside the supported business sector following discussions with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and builds on the experience and evidence of the government Disability Confident scheme, existing Social Enterprise Mark CIC accreditations, as well as the practices of the supported business community.

The eight organisations involved in the pilot phase for the new Mark include CLARITY, one of the UK’s oldest social enterprises, and Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, a division of Royal British Legion Industries, which provides employment opportunities to members of the Armed Forces community.

‘We are really excited to announce the launch of our newest products. This marks a key milestone for us in our work with the Supported Business Steering Group, as well as DWP.’ says Lucy Findlay, founding Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark CIC.

‘We hope that this accreditation will become a yardstick for businesses that wish prove their credentials in creating the most supportive environment for employing disabled people, as well as demonstrating their social value. We are particularly pleased to see take-up from some of the leaders in this field and hope that more will follow as we work with DWP and Steering Group to refine the details.’

Mark Norbury, CEO of social enterprise support body UnLtd added: ‘There are hundreds of social entrepreneurs out there recruiting and training talented and skilled disabled people. They serve as powerful role models for other businesses – particularly the SME sector which employs over 60% of our UK workforce.’

‘This new initiative will give deserved recognition to social enterprises, such as those backed by UnLtd and Scope, who are innovating to reduce the UK’s unfair and unaffordable disability employment gap.

‘If this gap is to be closed completely, the UK will need to harness the proven potential of these inspiring social ventures to achieve change. Recognition through this new Mark is an important step in the right direction.’

Photo credit – Pixabay.

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter


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