Big business must do more to build an equal society

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Business has the power to change the world for the better, but persistent stories of low pay, discrimination and a lack of respect for the environment often make it seem like part of the problem, not the solution.

As the workforce of the future students and young people can push your future employers to do better, to create a fairer, more sustainable world by making better purchasing decisions.

We call on the FSTE 350 to take their responsibility to people and planet more seriously and to work with, learn from and support the growing social enterprise movement, simply by changing who they buy from.

Social enterprises, which are set up to trade for a social purpose, offer a better way of doing business. From homelessness and substance abuse to mental health and social care - social enterprises are working on the front-line creating opportunities and reducing inequalities. They are showing traditional businesses how social impact and profit can go hand in hand.

Join the social enterprise revolution and ensure business plays its part to ensure our generation has a better future.

Sign this petition, which will be delivered to the CEOs of the FTSE 350 - the largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange comprising of both the FTSE 100 and the FTSE 250. 

With your support we can show them that their future employees and customers care about the impact they are having. That they want them to step up and use their influence and purchasing power to build a fairer world.


Dear CEOs of the FTSE 350

Students are the workforce of the future and business has the power to change the world.

We believe in equality. Every business should ensure that people are able to rise to the top regardless of their gender, race, religion or background.

We believe in environmental responsibility. Every business should make a positive contribution to ensuring that the next generation does not inherit an ecological disaster.

We believe in community. Every business should respect the places that they work in and give something back.

We are losing trust in business. Stories of low-pay, discrimination and a lack of respect for the environment are all too common. Businesses appear to be making our situation worse, not better.

Soon we will be entering the workplace. We want to work for companies that care about more than just the bottom line, that have a social mission beyond short-term profits.

We want to work in and with social enterprises.

We want more businesses to become social enterprises. These are firms which are set up to make a positive social and environmental impact. They reinvest their profits back into their business to further their mission or into projects which deliver their mission. This is a smarter way of doing business.

Social enterprises are more diverse than private firms. 41% are led by women and 12% by people from an ethnic minority background – double the level in the rest of the private sector. Social enterprises are also more innovative than private firms. This is no coincidence. Diversity is good for society and good for business. There can be no more excuses for businesses failing to deliver.

The FTSE 100 currently spends around £10m on Corporate Social Responsibility every year. Wouldn’t it be better if they used the hundreds of billions that they spent doing business every year to make a positive difference. They can do that through spending their money with social enterprises and becoming more socially responsible themselves.

As business you have the power to build a fairer world.

We call on you to support social enterprises so that our generation has a better future.

Yours sincerely, 

Your future workforce.