13 Oct 2022

Celebrate Social Enterprise Day

Social enterprises are businesses which trade for a social or environmental purpose. Ove 100,000 social enterprises are operating in the UK, contributing £60 billion to the economy and employing around two million people, according to Social Enterprise UK. Social Enterprise day, celebrated on the third Thursday in November, is a chance to celebrate that.

It’s all about prioritising people and planet over profit. Social enterprises use their profit to further their mission and create better outcomes for the cause they serve. They can help improve social justice, reduce economic inequality and do business in a better way to create a fairer world.

Inside Job Productions have been operating as a social enterprise since inception, committed to supporting those facing barriers to employment through initiatives focusing on mental health. We choose to invest our profits in media-based projects which can change people’s lives for the better, in particular supporting people who experience poor mental health. We want to grow opportunities for people and create an inclusive environment for people who have had difficulty entering into employment and sustaining a career. Social enterprises are broadly speaking more inclusive – 83% of leadership teams include a woman and 47% of social enterprises are led by women. This is far higher than other forms of business – only 6% of FTSE100 companies have female CEOs and only 18% of SMEs are 50%+ owned by a woman, says Social Enterprise UK’s 2021 State of the Sector report.

We offer work experience and employment opportunities to young people struggling with their mental health. This includes a 6-month trainee scheme paid at London Living Wage (72% of social enterprises are living wage employers). We provide a professional but supportive work environment, to help them develop their creative and technical skills, as well as gain confidence and self-esteem.

Tallulah Self was our first production trainee. She says “In my three years at Inside Job Productions I did so much! I got involved lots of exciting projects for so many different clients. Spending a lot of time out on shoots with Inside Job Productions’ talented freelancers, learning how to film and edit was great. Coming up with ideas for content, helped pitch these to clients, organised shoots and helped to train the trainees who came on the scheme after me. I also had the opportunity to develop and carry out a project in schools teaching animation to children, as part of Inside Job Productions’ social impact mission, as they are a social enterprise. I learnt so much about both the creative and technical side to film-making, as well as skills like project management, business development and how to effectively work as a team.”

We also develop and lead on innovative projects which address the serious impact of poor mental health, particularly relevant in a world which is just starting to emerge from a global pandemic. Our most recent projects include a series of film-based workshops in secondary schools around the UK which look at ways in which children experiencing poor mental health can unpack the issues which concern them.

Within the criminal justice sector, we are also pioneering a new approach to the delivery of key information about mental health and wellbeing to people in custody. The Mental Health Media Production Unit is lifting the lid on wellbeing issues that people in prison face, providing film production training and generating relevant film and digital content.

Those on the training programme have scripted, directed, shot and produced a range of films that centre around issues that are important to them – family, relationships, justice, wellbeing; the same things that matter to us all. The programme aims to inspire and empower those who take part to believe they can change their lives, and equip them with the skills and confidence to do just that. 20 films have been created to date, reaching 17 prisons and nearly 8000 people in prison.

More and more businesses are choosing to buy social. This Social Enterprise Day 2022 celebrate the work that they do and the contribution they make to the economy and society, and invest wisely.