High Street Voucher presents a great opportunity to buy social

When a Social Enterprise profits, society profits…

Applications have now opened for the long-awaited and much hyped High Street Voucher which is being branded as a ‘Spend Local’ prepaid card. The £145 million programme, being run by the Department for the Economy, offers pre-paid cards worth £100 to all over 18s in Northern Ireland and it aims to help those businesses in the retail and hospitality sectors which were hit hardest by the pandemic. There is a great opportunity here for people to use their vouchers to not only ‘buy local’ but also to ‘buy social’.

Social Enterprises are businesses that trade to alleviate social problems, improve communities and enhance people’s life chances. They make money from selling goods and services, but it’s what they do with their profits that makes them different. They reinvest their profits back into the business or the local community to maximise social impact and to create positive social change. Contrary to what many believe, Social Enterprises are not ‘not for profit’ – they just use their profits for ‘social good’. They do this in lots of different ways: creating jobs for people who may be marginalised, reinvesting profits in community projects or charitable work, protecting the environment, or providing vital services for people who might not get them otherwise.

We have some amazing Social Enterprises here in Northern Ireland doing some brilliant things – from large organisations operating on a huge scale like Madlug or IncredABLE to smaller ones based within their own communities creating social value in equally important ways. Many of these are retail or hospitality businesses and choosing to spend your £100 with them will help them to continue to generate social value – whether that’s donating bags to children in care or supporting those with learning disabilities into the workplace. While some of these may not have a ‘high street’ presence, they will still be able to accept payments from the High Street Voucher over the phone so don’t let that be a barrier to buying social! Find out more about some of Northern Ireland’s brilliant Social Enterprise businesses and the social value they create by visiting the Social Enterprise NI website here.

This is a real opportunity to make your £100 go a lot further towards building back better from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Employers For Childcare as a Social Enterprise

Employers For Childcare is proud to be a Social Enterprise and the UK’s only Social Enterprise business providing Childcare Vouchers. While we can’t accept the High Street Vouchers, we would still love to hear from any businesses (anywhere in the UK) interested in buying social by switching their Childcare Voucher scheme to us.

For every employee that uses our Childcare Vouchers, you can help us to support 17 parents by identifying the financial support they are entitled to. Not only will you be buying social and creating social value, you may save even more money on operating your Childcare Voucher scheme, through our competitive administration rates, and you’ll also benefit from your exceptional customer service. It’s a triple win!

Find out more about how to change your Childcare Voucher provider here.