Unless you’ve been living under a rock it won’t be news to you that the traditional high street is under threat in most parts of the country and has almost dissolved entirely in others.
The butcher, baker and candlestick maker have been replaced by café’s, charity shops and chains stores. The supermarket and the growth in online shopping are two of the main contributory factors and they aren’t going away anytime soon.
Nor should they. They create jobs and revenue. Unfortunately, that generated revenue doesn’t benefit the local community in they way that perhaps it should or could.
Social Enterprise exists to achieve a social mission, such as providing healthcare for the poor, creating community assets such as an arts centre, or recycling waste and turning it into luxury handbags.
What differentiates a social enterprise from a charity is that it delivers sustainable revenue and reinvests it back into the business or the local community.
It is arguably the fastest growing entrepreneurial sector. So imagine a high street where these social enterprises have taken up the mantle left by small businesses that were no longer able to compete.
Imagine that every time you purchased goods or services you were able to get actual real money back from the revenue generated.
Imagine being given the choice to take that money back or re-invest it into projects that your local community needed.
Imagine being given that choice in a world where people who don’t walk in your shoes take your taxes and decides how they are spent.
Imagine that one day, not far from now, the high street looks a little different. Locally owned shops thrive once more. Their contributions genuinely benefitting the people and the community that invests in them.
This is part of the LocoSoco vision.
Beats club card points, don’t you think?