How Social Enterprises Enhance Corporate Supply Chains

Join this free online course to get inspired and learn how social enterprises enhance corporate supply chains while contributing to a positive environmental and social impact. You’ll hear from representatives of both social enterprises and companies who are involved in corporate social partnerships and learn about the benefits for everyone involved.

This course was retired in August 2023.

Self-paced since February 20, 2019
Language: English
Subtitles (auto-generated): Deutsch, English, Français, Español

Course information

retired image

This course was retired in August 2023.

Course Summary

Corporate supply chains represent a significant opportunity to achieve social impact. Increasingly, businesses are choosing to purchase from social enterprise suppliers who can provide high quality products and services whilst delivering social value to their communities. As a social enterprise, how do you tap into this market? And, as a business, what are the benefits to you? In this course, we hear first-hand from experts in leading social enterprises on how they tapped into the corporate market. We also hear from business leaders explaining the benefits that social suppliers can bring to business. This Thought Leaders course shows that social enterprise is becoming increasingly mainstream, enhancing corporate supply chains and enabling companies of all sizes to achieve greater social engagement with local communities, operate more sustainably, and do business with a more positive social and environmental impact.

The course has a global relevance and the contributors were recorded at the 2018 Social Enterprise World Forum in Edinburgh (Scotland) involving leading proponents of corporate social partnerships from around the world. The course presenters describe their motivation for engagement, the processes of purchasing or supply and measuring and communicating the social impact. Course partner Social Enterprise UK will support learners interested in continued engagement through the Buy Social Corporate Challenge campaign, a global initiative enabling corporate partners to generate and account for social impact through everyday purchasing.

The course videos were shot and edited by media co-op, a social enterprise.

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Here is what some participants are saying about the course:

  • "The content of the course is an eye opener on being inclusive. It helped me understand the importance, reason and benefits of engaging Social Enterprises in Supply Chain." Read the original post

  • "The content helped me to understand how to drive discussions in this direction and come up with measures to share its effectiveness" Read the original post

  • "like the entire course as this is an novel attempt to address a pressing need of the present in form of Social Enterprise." Read the original post

  • "Overall, great initiative by SAP for providing this platform & exposure to global Buy Social movement!" Read the original post

  • "I do agree with the assessment from several presenters that procurement (how and from who we buy from) can make a profound change and impact." Read the original post

Course Characteristics

Course Content

Week 1: Discovering Social Procurement
Week 2: Method and Measurement
Week 3: Global Experiences
Week 4: Broader Perspectives

Target Audience

  • People working in procurement interested in developing social enterprise supply chains
  • Social entrepreneurs interested in the procurement market
  • People working in corporate responsibility
  • Anyone interested in social enterprise, social innovation, and social impact

Course Requirements

This course is open to all. There are no formal requirements.

Course contents

  • Course content no longer available

  • Week 1:

    Discovering Social Procurement
  • Week 2:

    Method and Measurement
  • Week 3:

    Global Experiences
  • Week 4:

    Broader Perspectives
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    We Love Your Feedback … And Want More

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Course End
Feb 20, 2019
Course Start
Jan 22, 2019


This course was rated with 4.32 stars in average from 393 votes.

Certificate Requirements

  • Gain a Record of Achievement by earning at least 50% of the maximum number of points from all graded assignments.
  • Gain a Confirmation of Participation by completing at least 50% of the course material.
  • Gain an Open Badge by completing the course.

Find out more in the certificate guidelines.

This course is offered by

Peter Holbrook

Peter Holbrook has been CEO of Social Enterprise UK since 2010.

Social Enterprise UK is the national trade body for social enterprise and represents a wide range of social enterprises, regional and national support networks. SEUK works to promote social enterprise as a model for changing both business and society. SEUK contributes to both the policy and political agendas with regard to social enterprise, seeks to raise media awareness of the sector, and undertakes social enterprise research. Peter has established, developed and supported hundreds of social enterprises over his career. He has advised government taskforces in the UK and overseas and chaired the Social Enterprise World Forum, the global network of social businesses, until 2015.

Peter has previously worked for Oxfam, Greenpeace, and various disability charities. He has experience of working in overseas development, community development and public health. He was appointed “Commander of the Order of the British Empire“ (CBE) in 2015.

For more information:

Gerry Higgins

Gerry Higgins is CEO at CEIS Group and a director at the Social Value Lab, CEIS Ayrshire, DSL Business Finance, Social Enterprise UK and Social Enterprise World Forum CIC. Gerry has a BA in Education and an MA in Business Studies.

He brings many years’ experience in social enterprise and works with government agencies and third sector partners in the UK and internationally to develop supportive social enterprise ecosystems. Gerry joined CEIS in 2006, having previously established Social Firms UK and was one of the founding directors of Social Enterprise UK.

For more information:

Cecilia Crossley

Cecilia Crossley is the founder of From Babies with Love, an organization that donates 100% of its profits to orphaned and abandoned children around the world.

From Babies with Love’s retail, wholesale, and corporate businesses generate a source of income to support some of the world’s most vulnerable children. From Babies with Love currently supports 4100 children in over 30 countries.

Cecilia is an accountant, with experience in the City of London and in charity finance. She is half Brazilian, and as a child, saw children living on the streets of Rio, fueling her passion for international development and social enterprise.

For more information:

Charlie Wigglesworth

Charlie Wigglesworth is Deputy Chief Executive at Social Enterprise UK.

Charlie is responsible for all aspects of SEUK’s business activities, including managing and growing relationships with corporate partners, winning public sector contracts, and heading up the SEUK membership team. He has worked with major multinational companies on delivering their social enterprise and sustainability strategies with a particular emphasis on supply chains.

For more information:

Colin Downie

Colin Downie is the Sales and Partnership Director at the WildHearts Group, a social enterprise dedicated to launching companies that, through their activities and profits, deliver entrepreneurship education and microfinance globally. Colin is a founding employee of the WildHearts Group, where his extensive experience has helped to build the WildHearts Group into a multi-million pound organisation delivering social impact across 40 countries.

For more information:

David Brookes

David Brookes has been Managing Director of Social Traders (Australia) since 2009. He is an executive director on the organization’s board and has responsibility for development and implementation of strategy, staff recruitment, and engagement with key government, philanthropic, business, and research partners.

David has led strategic business-community partnerships at Rio Tinto, Toyota, and Amcor, and has been instrumental in developing industry and government policy.

David has a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) from the University of Wollongong and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

For more information:

David LePage

David LePage is Managing Partner of Buy Social Canada and Executive Director of Community Impact Real Estate. Through Accelerating Social Impact, he provides social enterprise consulting, promotes a supportive public policy environment and advises impact investors.

David is a founding partner of the Social Enterprise Institute. He serves on several boards of directors, including the Social Enterprise World Forum, and the Social Enterprise Council of Canada. He is a program adjunct for the University of Fredericktown MBA in Social Enterprise Leadership.

For more information:

Ian Walker

Ian Walker is a senior director within the Johnson & Johnson Global Community Impact team and guides the company's strategy and execution in the area of social business practice, mainly in EMEA and Asia Pacific. The Global Community Impact team is tasked with “Supporting and championing the people on the front lines, who are at the heart of delivering care”.

Ian was honored with the 2014 Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

Ian is also member of the UK’s Johnson & Johnson Medical Ltd Statutory Board of Directors. Ian has a great passion for Africa and has a particular interest in the area of obstetric fistula prevention and repair, and surgical capacity building.

Ian has a BSc (Hons) from the University of Aberdeen, MBA from University of Edinburgh and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Ian is married and lives in Fife with his wife, two boys, a Pyrenean Mountain Dog, two kittens, and six chickens.

For more information:

Jamie Lawson

Jamie Lawson is operating officer for Haven Products, UK. He joined the organization in 2013. Jamie is an economics graduate and has worked in senior roles in both the private and third sectors. He has worked in Scotland, Germany, and Switzerland. In 2012 Jamie was invited to become a member of the Scottish Government’s Advisory Group for Supported Businesses. Jamie is married and has twin boys. Beyond the world of work, Jamie enjoys outdoor activities and coaches at a local youth sport club.

For more information:

Jeremy Willis

Jeremy Willis joined PwC in 2002. He is Director of Procurement for the UK and was recently appointed leader of PwC's Global Procurement Council. In this role, he drives strategic objectives in all areas of network-wide procurement and aims to establish a “centre of excellence” for global procurement.

Jeremy has over 20 years’ experience in strategic procurement and has worked on several large cross-territory sourcing initiatives. An area of particular personal interest is integrating sustainability policies and processes into the supply chain. He recognizes the important role that procurement has in creating social value and minimizing environmental impact through making informed decisions on ethical sourcing.

For more information:
Jeremy's profile on LinkedIn
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John R. Schaaf

John R. Schaaf is a Procurement Manager and Head of GPO Enablement in the Global Procurement Organization at SAP. John is focuses on leading and driving process execution and best class solution implementation in SAP Global Procurement.

John has over 20 years of experience in the procurement area, in many different roles mostly in building and management of sub-organizations within Procurement. 

Julia Cambage

Julia Cambage is CEO of TRY Australia, a social enterprise established 135 years ago. Her work is all about the possibilities! With over 20 years as a CEO, she has been able to perpetuate the entrepreneurial drive of the organization’s founder W.M. Forster.

Most recently, Julia has driven the development of a range of innovative social enterprises including TRY Uncontained. This project converts containers into affordable, small-footprint housing, offers property management services, and produces furniture. The initiative provides training and employment for some of society’s most vulnerable members, thereby creating measurable impact.

Julia is a strong advocate for social justice and believes that social enterprise provides the platform for community values and shareholder returns to merge!

For more information:

Marcell Vollmer

Marcell Vollmer is Chief Digital Officer for SAP Ariba and is responsible defining and driving Digital Transformation for customers of SAP Ariba globally.

A thought leader in procurement, supply chain, finance and shared services, Marcell’s expertise lies in defining digital transformation strategy and to make Run Simple a reality for global customers and consumers by delivering high cost and additional procurement savings

Matt Sparkes

Matt Sparkes is Head of Corporate Responsibility at Linklaters LLP. He has been involved in corporate responsibility for nearly twenty years, supporting both businesses and not-for-profits to effect social change through partnership.

Matt’s key interests include the challenge of articulating what it means to be a responsible business, and also how frameworks such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals challenge organisations to extend corporate responsibility well beyond its traditional boundaries. Matt has a particular passion for business as a force for good, seeing sourcing through social enterprise as irrefutable evidence of a true commitment to social responsibility.

For more information:

Neha Chandgothia

Neha Chandgothia is responsible for managing and growing the Buy Social Corporate Challenge campaign. Neha also leads the implementation of public and private sector projects that are won through consultancy work by Social Enterprise UK.

Neha has many years experience in the financial services and social sectors. Neha also volunteers for 180 Degrees Consulting in their Global Leadership Team as a Global Consulting Director.

For more information:

Phillip Ullmann

Phillip Ullmann is the Chief Energiser of Cordant Group, the UK’s second largest recruitment and services firm with revenues of £840 million and employing 125,000 people.

Phillip has been responsible for driving the business forward since joining in 1996. This has been achieved through a series of acquisitions and organic growth but also by hiring highly talented people in key roles. As the original architect of the Social Enterprise at Cordant, it is now a vision owned just as much by the board and the senior management. Phillip has an Engineering degree from Cambridge University, an MBA from Brunel University and is a qualified Chartered Accountant.

He is married and has four children and two grandchildren. He began his career at KPMG and the British supermarket Sainsbury and is a keen supporter of Arsenal football club.

For more information:

Ray Coyle

Ray Coyle is CEO of Auticon Limited, an IT and compliance consulting business. All Auticon consultants are on the autism spectrum. Auticon creates autism-friendly work environments and delivers outstanding quality to its clients.

Ray is a qualified UK solicitor and has a Masters Degree in Intellectual property law. He has a longstanding interest in social enterprise and founded the IMPACT team at Osborne Clarke, a European law firm.

For more information:

Rick Rijsdijk

Rick Rijsdijk is founder and director of Social Value Lab, and is one of the most experienced social impact measurement specialists in the UK.

His big passion is social enterprise - generating profit while doing good. Over the years, he has also developed a particular interest in new approaches to community capacity building, the community control and management of assets and developing the potential of social enterprises, and third sector organisations and the role they can play in achieving public sector outcomes.

He has expertise in developing the third sector in many fields: arts and culture; social care; community transport, community health; addictions; community food; youth services; employability; learning disability; and regeneration.

For more information:

Tamara Braun

Tamara Braun is Chief Procurement Officer and Senior Vice President for the Global Procurement Organization at SAP.

Her organization handles a volume of approximately six billion euro annually. In her role, she is responsible for the entire procure-to-pay process (Procurement Operations, Accounts Payable and Travel and Expenses). Her goal is that Global Purchasing adds value to her internal customers. She has a strong focus on people and their close collaboration along the entire procurement process.

Tamara has worked for SAP since 1993 and held various posts within the Global Finance and Administration organization, including leading the Global Finance Shared Services Organization and later moving to Moscow as Chief Financial Officer for Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine.

Seán Barnes

Seán Barnes leads Ākina’s social procurement work programme that includes providing advisory support to businesses, connecting businesses to social enterprise suppliers, building a marketplace for social procurement and supporting social enterprises to be procurement ready.

Before working with Akina, Seán worked in engineering and consultancy roles. Through his work at Akina, Seán aims to promote positive social and environmental impact.

For more information:

Matt Parsons

Matt Parsons began his procurement career in the UK, managing the procurement of large commercial and social services for the public sector. Matt returned to his native New Zealand in 2006, where he worked with the Ministry of Education, before joining New Zealand Post in 2011. As Procurement Team Manager, Matt has contributed to New Zealand Post’s innovative culture, enabling him to promote social procurement within the organisation. Matt is passionate about the growth of the social enterprise sector in New Zealand and sees this as an effective way for business and government to invest in social and environmental outcomes.

For more information: