Meet the Tenant: Social Enterprise Mark CIC

Through our Meet the Tenant feature we hope you’re seeing the wide variety of businesses that partner with us here at the Millfields Trust. In previous blogs, we’ve introduced you to Butternut Box as well as Reach Wrestling but today we’d like to introduce the Social Enterprise Mark CIC.

What is your name, job role, and business name, and how long have you been in business?

My name is Lucy Findlay MBE. I am the founding Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark CIC, and we have been in business for 13 years (on 1st February 2023)

Meet the Tenant: Social Enterprise Mark CIC, Millfields Trust

How are you connected to the Millfields Trust? Why did you get an office in Millfields Trust?

We have been a happy tenant of Millfields Trust since November 2016. We moved into our current office in June 2017. I knew MT and Roger (the previous CEO) well due to my previous job at the Development Trusts Association (now Locality), over 25 years ago! We chose Millfields Trust because they are a social enterprise doing great work in the local community and wanted to support a fellow local social enterprise. Plus they are a lovely, warm, and welcoming team!

What does an average day look like for your project? What happens?

Every week is different! As the network of businesses we work with is so varied, this means we are often working across several different sectors, from education to finance, and from retail to healthcare. A typical week would include team catch-ups, meetings/calls with social enterprises interested in gaining our accreditation, sharing relevant news and events across our comms channels (including our weekly news bulletin), and supporting our network of accredited social enterprises.

What types of challenges has your business faced in the past, present, and possibly in the future?

Like most small businesses, we have faced bumps in the road over the last 13 years. However, we have always remained true to our original aim of identifying and certifying genuine social enterprises, and more latterly emphasising the upholding of standards to support this aim. We have faced our fair share of criticism and scepticism but have used this to drive us on in our role as an advocate for the social enterprise sector and an arbiter of clear and credible standards for these businesses.

As we’re sure it has been for many others, it’s been a challenging few years and we have recently struggled with capacity issues, which often inhibits our potential to grow and scale the business. As a small team of only five people, we often punch above our weight in terms of our reach. In fact, many find it hard to believe we run an international business out of a small office in Plymouth!

If you could have one thing right now for your business, what would it be?

More capacity to take advantage of opportunities for growth, as well as the systems and processes to handle an increase in demand.

What is your biggest achievement in your business so far? or recently?

Probably the fact we have grown from a small regional body to a business with partners and customers in eight different countries, whilst still maintaining the original ethos and dedication to recognising and building the capabilities of social enterprises as competitive, sustainable businesses, dedicated to maximising social impact.

Meet the Tenant: Social Enterprise Mark CIC, Millfields Trust

Plans for 2023?

We see 2023 as a key transitional year as we strengthen our Board, team, systems, and processes to better equip us to reach the next phase in our journey, growing our gravitas, ethics, values, and maturity.

What’s the best, or worst business advice you have ever received? Or, what is your business mantra?

The best business advice was from Nigel Kershaw (Chair of Big Issue). When we were going through a rough patch, he encouraged me to focus on ‘hunkering down’ and ensuring business survival.  My worst was from a Director (who will remain nameless!) They told me that our Social Enterprise Gold Mark wouldn’t help our business model!

Social Enterprise Mark links:






Phone: 0345 504 6536

If you’re a business in need of office space, light industrial units, or possibly just a meeting room, head over to Our Premises today. If you already know exactly what you need then please don’t hesitate to contact the team.