Social Enterprise Coalition unveils new name

Social Enterprise Coalition’s new identity
Social Enterprise Coalition

Social Enterprise UK is the new name for the Social Enterprise Coalition. We have changed our name and will be rolling out a new visual identity and a new web platform over the next few weeks.

We believe we needed a new name and a new visual identity to better describe what we do and to better represent the social enterprise movement. The Social Enterprise Coalition was formed as a coalition of civil society organisations to use their collective voice to promote the idea and the use of social enterprise. They were very successful, and the UK now has a thriving, growing social enterprise movement and social enterprise is better understood. In fact, social enterprise has come into its own and the movement is gaining power, momentum and support. And ‘coalition’ no longer describes what we do – we have opened our doors to individual social enterprises of all sizes – start-ups and well-established businesses. We provide support, services, networks, tools, information and services to social enterprises. Our membership is growing fast. Our web traffic has doubled in the last year and we are inundated with enquiries and requests. More businesses want to support our mission, and we are welcoming them with open arms. We wanted a name and a visual identity that are simple enough to help us embed a common language for social enterprise in the UK while capturing all the things we do. Our new visual identity puts members first. Our new web platform will be a marketplace for the social enterprise movement.

Why Social Enterprise UK?

Because we are the national body for social enterprise in the UK. We believe that we no longer need to use any words other than social enterprise to describe what we’re here for and what we stand for. We are here for social enterprises and we stand for social enterprise.

Why the new visual identity?

SEC’s visual identity didn’t put across what we do and what we stand for. Social enterprise is a movement for people – and Social Enterprise UK only exists to work with and through its members. The new visual identity puts members right at the front. The idea is that wherever you see our logo – you’ll see a real member of Social Enterprise UK – they are the force behind social enterprise in the UK.

How did you decide what to call yourself and how to describe yourself and social enterprise?

By asking our members. We did research with our members (and did a few tests with members of the public who don’t know anything about social enterprise) to arrive at this name and identity.

Is a rebrand a good idea in a time when money is tight for everyone?

Yes, especially if you do it at low cost. Now is the time for social enterprise to be bolder and louder than ever and we need really good, really bold ways of showing what the movement can achieve. And with our rebrand will come a raft of tools our members can use to grow their business and showcase themselves. The rename and rebrand are part of a wider campaign that will be unfolding over the next few months. It will be led by our members and will be all about promoting social enterprise to the widest possible audience.

We’re not having a big fancy launch. We’re putting out our report as the ‘news’ story of Social Enterprise UK. We’re changing things like publications and printed materials gradually. You may still see our old logo for some time. We are building a new website that will be a marketplace for the social enterprise sector. But this is the cost-effective way to do it.


Social Enterprise Coalition becomes Social Enterprise UK
By David Ainsworth, Third Sector Online, 3 August 2011

Social Enterprise UK

But Welsh and Scottish bodies say it should not represent itself as a UK-wide umbrella body for social enterprises

The Social Enterprise Coalition has changed its name to Social Enterprise UK, it announced today.

The umbrella body for the social enterprise sector also unveiled a new logo and visual identity for its website. It would not reveal the cost of the rebrand.

Celia Richardson, director of communications at Social Enterprise UK, said: "The Social Enterprise Coalition started up as a coalition of third sector organisations that were very successful at putting social enterprise on the political agenda – and the UK now has a thriving, growing movement that is gaining power, momentum and support.

"But ‘coalition’ no longer describes what we do. We’re not just a lobbying organisation. Lobbying and representation are still critically important, but we’re a broad outfit providing lots of services.

"We wanted a simple name that captures why we’re here and what we stand for."

However, John Bennett, chief executive of the Welsh Social Enterprise Coalition, said he felt Social Enterprise UK should not represent itself as an umbrella body for the whole of the UK.

"I don’t think the social enterprise coalition in England represents organisations in Wales," he said. "I’m not aware that they spoke to members in Wales about this change of name. The reality is that the majority of our members would say ‘we have our own coalition to represent us’."

Laurence Demarco, director of Senscot, the network for Scottish social entrepreneurs, said in an email bulletin in June that the English coalition should "think twice before implying that it represents Scotland".