Social Enterprise Mark’s Rules

Qualifications and Conditions of the Association for Finnish Work’s Social Enterprise mark

1. The purpose of these rules together with the terms of use (”Terms of Use”) is to promote the use of the Finnish Social Enterprise mark as a symbol of social enterprises. Social enterprises are engaged in responsible business activities and their primary objective is to contribute to social good. The purpose of the Finnish Social Enterprise mark is to help social enterprises to distinguish themselves from other businesses and demonstrate that the enterprise applies the Finnish Social Enterprise business model.

2. The Social Enterprise mark is a registered association mark owned by the Association for Finnish Work (”Association”). The following rules shall apply to the use of Social Enterprise mark.

3. The right to use the Social Enterprise mark can be awarded by the Social Enterprise Committee, which is nominated by the Executive Committee of the Association, upon application to a member organisation of the Association, provided that the organisation complies with the requirements set forth in these rules.

4. The Social Enterprise Committee, which has the necessary expertise for the task, processes the applications for the right to use the mark, grants the right to use the mark and addresses disputes. The Committee shall have quorum if at least half of its members are present, including the Chairman and/or the Vice-chairman.

5. The Social Enterprise Committee shall require that the applicant organisation comply with Finnish law, any applicable official regulations, the code of good practice, collective labour agreements as well as the Terms of Use.

6. Eligibility

  • The applicant organisation must be a member of the Association.
  • The applicant organisation must have a business ID.
  • The applicant organisation’s head office must be in Finland.
  • New organisations must have completed their first annual financial report. This requirement does not apply to organisations which have been active before and from which some activities have been separated as a new organisation or to those organisations which have changed their organisational status but are continuing their activity seamlessly. Under special circumstances, the Social Enterprise Committee can award the mark case by case for one year even if the organisation has not completed their first annual financial report, provided that the other demands and criteria are met.

7. Based on the criteria described below, the organisation applying for the Social Enterprise mark shall be subjected to a comprehensive assessment. The assessment emphasises the three primary criteria but also observes how the organisation meets the secondary criteria. The organisation shall inform the Association without delay in writing if its activities change with regards to the criteria.

An organisation applying for the mark shall comply with the following qualification criteria:

Primary criteria:

  • The primary purpose and objective of the social enterprise is to contribute to social good. The social enterprise is engaged in responsible business activities.
  • Restricted distribution of profits. The social enterprise uses most of its profits to contribute to social good in accordance with its business idea, either by developing its own operations or donating the profits in accordance with its mission.
  • Openness and transparency of business activities.

Secondary criteria:

  • Participation and influence of employees in the enterprise’s decision making, including employee ownership.
  • Measuring of social effectiveness and the generated social impact.
  • Employment of persons with a weak position in the labour market.
  • Adoption of innovative service and operational models within the organisation’s field of work. The Social Enterprise Committee shall make further enquiries where necessary.

8. The right to use the Social Enterprise mark shall be valid for three full calendar years, provided that the organisation is a member of the Association. The Social Enterprise Committee can at its discretion award the right to use the mark for a period shorter than three years. The Social Enterprise Committee can ask the mark’s user for further information on matters related to the use and award of the mark.

The organisation’s eligibility for the use of the Mark is checked in conjunction with the electronic annual notification given to the Association.

The right to use the Social Enterprise mark shall be renewed every three years.  The Association shall notify the licence holder of the expiry in advance.

9. All information related to the application shall be treated in confidence and kept secret Information on which organisations have been awarded the right to use the Social Enterprise mark shall remain public and the Association shall maintain a public register of such information.

10. An administration fee shall be charged for the right to use the mark and its renewal in accordance with the grounds set out by the Association’s Executive Committee.

11. The provisions of the Finnish Trademarks Act (26.4.2019/544) on association marks shall apply to the Social Enterprise mark.

12. The Association’s Executive Committee shall decide on any amendments to these rules.

12 December 2019

Read also the marks´ Terms of Use »