About us

Social Firms UK, 1

Social Firms UK is the national support and membership organisation for the development of the Social Firm and Work Integration Social Enterprise (WISE) sector in the UK. A Social Firm is a market-led social enterprise set up specifically to create good quality jobs for people severely disadvantaged in the labour market and WISEs focus on improving their employment prospects though a wider range of work-based opportunities.

Social Firms UK carry out lobbying and awareness-raising activities, research and practical initiatives to increase the number and ensure the quality of employability focused social enterprises across the UK. We operate the only accredited quality scheme in the social enterprise sector (Star) and have a wide range of technical resources available on our website.

We manage key stakeholder relationships from both the statutory and corporate sector that in turn bring business development opportunities for our members via supply chain engagement, leveraging pro bono support and placing interns into creative projects. We promote the development of ethical purchasing through our Just Buy campaign and dedicated inter-trading website www.justbuyorg.uk. We manage visits across the sector to share good practice and for educational, training and personal development purposes, to both domestic and international audiences, click here to .

We undertake project and consultancy work both from within the sector and from other sectors who have an interest in social enterprise. For more information please visit www.socialfirmsuk.co.uk and www.justbuy.org.uk

Information about our activities in 2010 can be found in our 2010 Annual Report

Vision, mission and strategic priorities

Vision: 'Everyone has the opportunity to be employed'

Mission:  'To support, strengthen and grow the Social Firm sector so that more
people facing the most significant barriers to work can gain employment.'

Strategic priorities:

  • to promote the values and increase the level of understanding around the Social Firm model;
  • to facilitate the start up, development and growth of new Social Firm businesses and strengthen those already in existence;
  • to serve and grow the membership effectively and efficiently, determining and meeting their needs;
  • to lead on R&D initiatives to drive development, production and promotion of new and existing resources.


Read the Social Firms UK manifesto (December 2009).

Organisation structure

Social Firms UK
Social Firms UK is registered as a charity in Scotland No. SC030949 and is a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in Scotland No. 214915. The registered address is Caledonian Exchange, 19A Canning Street, Edinburgh EH3 8HE.  Our head office address is Suite 2, Victoria House, 10 Brighton Road, Redhill, Surrey RH1 6QZ.

Social Firms UK Ventures Ltd
Social Firms UK has a wholly owned subsidiary called Social Firms UK Ventures Ltd which is registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee in England No. 3769242.  The registered office for this company is Suite 2, Victoria House, 10 Brighton Road, Redhill, Surrey RH1 6QZ.  Social Firms UK Ventures Ltd is VAT registered.