I work for a Social Enterprise — But what does that really mean?
When I first started working at Nuneaton Signs, I’d never heard of a Social Enterprise. The job I’d taken as far as I knew, was working at a factory that wasn’t far from home and was in a role that I could do — at that point I had no idea how much of the bigger picture I was missing.
My Nuneaton Signs journey started as a Commercial Sales Manager, something I had done before — however it soon became clear that working at Nuneaton Signs is nothing like anything I’ve done before. After a couple of weeks of ‘settling in’ I started sitting in on a few meetings with prospective customers and our Commercial Director — Michelle, from the first meeting I was truly captivated. Listening to Michelle explain our journey and story to our customers, was so inspirational and moving, that I felt like a child being told a wonderful fairytale — but the difference is, it’s all true.
After years of working in a commercial industry where you’re fighting to the bottom line to make the most profit every quarter to line shareholders pockets, Nuneaton Sign’s employee focused attitude was more than a breath of fresh air.
One of the most striking things that stood out to me, was the number of people who have been through our doors and have been helped just by being employed by Nuneaton Signs. People who would feel insecure about looking for a job elsewhere or who would be turned away for no reason other than who they are — those people have been given a chance here and have thrived. Whether these employees are still here or moved on — it was Nuneaton Signs who helped them take the first step back into the world of employment.
When you work for a Social Enterprise, you see reward bigger than any high-flying corporate business can give you. If we have a successful year, or land a big order, or take on a new client — the reward soon follows, and it’s in the best way. Seeing a new employee on their first day, a new apprentice start, or a special educational needs school come into the factory for work experience — witnessing any of the amazing things we can do here is truly humbling, it’s not something that you can put a price on, and it’s certainly something that a big cash bonus couldn’t match.
When you buy from us, you know 100% of our profits go back into the company, and that is why in this last year we have been able to increase our members of staff employed with disabilities by 15%, create and fill 2 new apprentice positions, educate 23 young people with disabilities about working life through our education program and so much more*.
So here I am, 2 years in, now working as Nuneaton Signs’ Social Impact Officer. I get to speak to customers every day, telling them about all the amazing work that we do. That we can Design, Manufacture, and Install signage that they could order from anywhere else — but why would you. Why buy elsewhere when you can #BuySocial knowing that every penny you spend with us makes the world of difference to a group of people who otherwise, might not be given a chance.
I am so proud to work for Nuneaton Signs, I have learned so much about this other side of industry — it’s business for good, and I can’t imagine working anywhere else.
*Statistics taken from 2019 Social Impact Report