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 just beginning their operation may receive the right to use the Social Enterprise Mark for 1 year to begin with, if all the other criteria for the mark are fulfilled. The organisation shall have business activities and revenue, through which it contributes to social good. There is no need to have finished the first annual financial report.  

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 purpose of the organisation is to contribute to social good.  
    • The goal of contributing to social good shall be declared openly.  
  • The majority of the organisations profit is used to further a social goal. 
    • The organisation shall invest its profit back to the operation of the society or direct the profit to a cause/organisation working for the common good. This can be determined through having limited profit distribution written in the company bye-laws or through equivalent evidence. 

Secondary criteria:

  • The organisation has a mode of operation connected with a social mission.  
    • For example, a service (such as social innovation), product, production, business model, marketing, project, target audience or leadership.  
    • The social impact is evaluated and measured.  
  • Business is open and follows good governance.  
    • Communication about the business is open and transparent. 
    • As an employer, the organisation strives to support worker equality, strengthening of know-how and the opportunity to participate in decision making. 
    • The organisation strives to operate responsibly towards the environment and stakeholders. 

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.

31 August 2021

Read also the marks´ Terms of Use »