There’s just two and half weeks until the 2015 Social Enterprise Conference, which will take place on the Monday, 12th October 2015 in London. For those that had organised an event will know it can get pretty crazy in the run up. So, when we heard UK’s Chocolate Week is commencing on 12th – 18th October, we were pretty pleased that Charlotte Borger,
the communication’s director behind the award winning social enterprise, Divine Chocolate Ltd, was able to take some time out and tell us the secret to their success and why people should attend the event. Here is what she had to say;
Divine Chocolate Ltd is a globally recognised social enterprise brand success, why do you think that is?
To compete effectively in any market it’s unlikely to be enough simply to focus on your social enterprise status as your USP. In the FMCG sector this is especially true – where great products and strong brand identities rule. So it’s been vital for Divine to build its brand to be distinctive and appealing in the specific market we are in – premium chocolate. Our success in the mainstream market is a mix of our really great product range, distinctive design and marketing, and a compelling story about the farmers who own us.
What is your current focus or mission right now?
We have just merged our UK and USA business, and consolidating our position as a social enterprise with international scope. We are attending ISM, the biggest confectionery show in the world, for the first time next year, to meet all our overseas distributers. Two representatives from the Ghanaian farmers’ coop that owns Divine will be there – so their voice is heard in the world chocolate market.
What is/was the biggest challenge at Divine Chocolate Ltd?
The Divine Chocolate business model is dependent on volume of sales – so our relationship with supermarkets is key – although we sell in many other channels too. You can never be complacent about being stocked each year in the supermarkets – it’s vital to keep refreshing the reasons why Divine should be on their shelves. Being a leading social enterprise does help but it’s not enough!
Where do you see the future of Social Enterprise?
I think as more and more familiar and/or interesting products and services become available on the high street from companies with social enterprise business models – the concept of “social enterprise” will become more mainstream and desirable. At the moment not enough people really understand what it is, and that examples are already all around them.
Why should people attend?
Social enterprise is the most exciting sector in business today. Building companies with social missions forces greater creativity and innovation in order to compete and offer something different in the market. People are also looking for nicer companies to work for – where they don’t have to leave their values at home.
Charlotte, thank you for taking the time out to share some of your wisdom here, we are very much looking forward to hearing more from you at the 2015 Social Enterprise Conference and how together we can make social enterprise the business model that defines the 21st century.
There are only limited spaces left, so book now to gurantee your place at the event: http://www.socialenterpriseconference.info/tickets/