The Social Enterprise Mark: a critical review of its conceptual dimensions

Rory Ridley‐Duff, Cliff Southcombe
  • Social Enterprise Journal, November 2012, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/17508611211280746

The Social Enterprise Mark - a critical review

What is it about?

A critical review of findings from workshops with social entrepreneurs, public sector workers, charity managers and cooperative developers based on an activity to evaluate the impact of the SEM on the social construction of social enterprise.

Why is it important?

The paper findings show that the Social Enterprise Mark is aligned with neither historical nor contemporary constructions of social enterprise / social economy and is becoming divisive in the field of practice rather that a standard supported by its core community. The conclusions include policy recommendations.


Dr Rory J Ridley-Duff
Sheffield Hallam University

The paper catalysed a new approach to social enterprise definition and practice that is now advanced by the FairShares Association through its FairShares Model ( The paper informs the theoretical perspective taken whilst writing the second edition of Understanding Social Enterprise: Theory and Practice.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Rory J Ridley-Duff