It is great to celebrate Social Enterprise Day 2021! The day is a reflection on businesses large and small across the UK that exist to promote social objectives as well as being commercially viable.
SPARK* is a community interest company, which means our interest as a company is in benefiting the community. We have no shareholders, have an 'asset lock' meaning that none of our assets can be sold to benefit the financial position of the directors of the company, while we actively try and engage in activities that benefit our community.
This can range from many things - working with partner charities, running the food bank and supporting marginalised individuals close to us and working closely with schools in supporting the young people of York. It is also important for us that our very core business activities support the community. Giving tangible and accessible opportunities for people across York to set up a business and have the support along the way to enable it to grow and thrive. To ensure our event spaces are brilliant and are free and available to community groups across the city who need space to meet and build their own mission. Also, it is in committing to pay people properly, and as an accredited Living Wage employer, we will never pay below the cost of living for our staff.
Taking on a vacant parcel of land and doing something productive for York that people from all walks of life and generations can benefit from is inherently important to why we exist. We believe regeneration projects should not be about profit maximisation but in allowing the community to connect more with the place they live and ultimately take ownership over spaces.
Our mission is consistently to carry this out and showcase that we can be commercially viable while not neglecting our passion for community and society at large. We can both thrive together.