New certification for social enterprises announced

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On the 11th of August, the Beijing Social Enterprise Certification Method was announced at the Forum for Chinese Social Enterprises. The release of this “method” marks the standard criteria that all social enterprises in Beijing can refer to.

A Chinese version of the document can be found here. The following are some points of note.

According to the method, after certification all social enterprises in Beijing will be entitled to a certain amount of funding, expert consultation services, the use of the social enterprise logo, branding and the coordination of quality office space and other such amenity provisions.

The method clearly states the definition of a social enterprise as an enterprise or organisation that prioritises the pursuit of the social good as a basic goal; continues to use market methods to produce/provide products and/or services; has a specific social issue and innovates with new public service provisions; and generates measurable social outcomes.

The method also includes nine basic requirements from social enterprises for certification: a mission statement, registration information, creditworthiness, business management, social involvement, social contribution, sustainable development potential, innovation and industry impact.

Simultaneously, the method also encourages social enterprises to be guided by current social issues and public livelihood needs, resolving issues through social governance innovation and by prioritising the improvement of public service standards in fields such as, but to not limited to, elderly care, public philanthropy, community service, estate administration, environmental protection, targeted poverty alleviation, culture and sports, ecological agriculture and food safety.

Currently, Beijing has already launched 12 social enterprises as demonstration and pilot projects. 17 organisations have been certified as China Charity Social Enterprises, three of which were awarded the name of “Gold Standard Social Enterprise”.