Welcome to the website of the Code Social     


   Why a Code?


The field of social entrepreneurship in the Netherlands has grown rapidly over the past few years. Simultaneously, among social entrepreneurs the need for recognition has increased as well. It is important that customers, financers, governments and business partners know that creating social impact is the principal aim of these social enterprises. That is why the Code Social Enterprises has been developed, in which the leading principles of social entrepreneurship are operated.


A shared Code helps enterprises to position themselves more strongly in society. At the same time, it can be base on which policies can be formed for other parties, such as governments and financers.

   What is the Code?

In the Code Social Enterprises, the leading principles of social entrepreneurship are operated and provided with tools. The Code is ‘principle based’, which means that its five principles challenge entrepreneurs to think and apply themselves the core values that are reflected in the Code.

The five leading principles are as follows:
Principle 1 asks from the enterprise that it secures its societal mission in its statutes, and that it is put into practice in a Theory of Change. The enterprise also needs to measure the impact that it claims to make.
In principle 2, the enterprise maps who are the relevant stakeholders in the light of its mission. It is important to enter into dialogue with these stakeholders, as to gain more insight in the (positive and negative) impact of its activities.
Principle 3 states that to protect its impact, the enterprise makes a balanced consideration between impact and financial results. One could think of limitations of dividend payments, capital payments and a carefully considerd salary policy.
If an enterprise is accepted to the Register of the Code, principle 4 asks that this enterprise participates actively in the community of social enterprises. The enterprise participates motivatedly in the peer reviews, and is open for suggested improvements to its own enterprise.
In principle 5, transparency is central: the enterprise has an active and accessible information policy. This means it publishes on its website the statutes and year reviews, but also its annual impact report and information on its salary policy.

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