Being a social enterprise – what & why?
It’s been a few months since NatureSpy officially became a social enterprise and a great time to regroup and look ahead to the future.
Why a social enterprise?
A camera trap workshop with the Mammal Society
We wanted NatureSpy to become a social enterprise and be one of the many fantastic UK businesses that care about the environment and the people within it.
A social enterprise aims to tackle social and/or environmental problems through its business; whether that’s by selling fair trade chocolate that benefits cocoa growing farmers, getting people active and interested in their community via different outlets such as sport, music or drama or helping under-represented and under-privileged adults and children learn new skills and socialise.
To do this a social enterprise must;
- Have clear social and/or environmental aims;
- Be self-sufficient and self-governing;
- Reinvest the majority of its profit back into achieving these aims.
Here at NatureSpy we are passionate about two things; (1) wildlife and its conservation and research and; (2) helping people to understand and appreciate the nature around them.
And to that end we have two main aims set out in our governing documents:
- To engage a variety of social groups and communities in their local green spaces and the wildlife they share them with, encouraging involvement, protection and respect.
- To research and conserve wildlife and habitats through study and monitoring.
But why is this important?
A badger deep in the forest…
Firstly; much of our native fauna needs to be conserved, more appropriately managed and better understood.
Secondly, as outlined in a previous post ‘Why is wildlife and biodiversity so important?’ – Wildlife and people are inextricably linked; what’s good for wildlife is good for people.
Nature provides us with invaluable ecosystem support as well as being proven to alleviate some of the stresses and strains that are associated with mental and physical illness.
Helping people to appreciate and understand their local green spaces and the wildlife they share them with will not only benefit our furry, feathered and scaled friends but also people themselves.
Here in the UK we have 101 mammals, 15 national parks and a bounty of country parks, green spaces and allotments; plenty of reasons to get outside!
From huge social enterprises such as the Eden Project to the smaller like NatureSpy, we hope to use this innovative social movement to encourage people to respect and use their natural environments for the better, whilst ensuring our wildlife continues to be fully valued and protected.