Share

Pressure mounts on Salesforce's 'social enterprise' trademark

Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank. Copyright: World Economic Forum
News

Pressure mounts on Salesforce's 'social enterprise' trademark

Finance | Vibeka Mair | 3 Sep 2012

Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, has joined a number of social sector heavyweights in asking technology giant Salesforce to stop using the term ‘social enterprise’ to describe its products and services.

Professor Yunus, the shadow equalities minister Baroness Thornton and Lord Adebowale, chief executive of Turning Point, are among the signatures of a letter to Marc Benioff, CEO and chairman of Salesforce, asking him to stop using the term ‘social enterprise’.

The letter follows concerns amongst the global social enterprise sector about Salesforce’s attempts to trademark the term ‘social enterprise’ in the US, EU, Australia and Jamaica.

While the term 'social enterprise' broadly means a business which tackles a social or environmental issue for the civil society sector, Salesforce uses it to describe social media and technologies business strategies.

Professor Yunus said: "As a lifelong advocate of the power of enterprise to create good for the poor of the world I respectfully ask that Salesforce stops its attempts to trademark the phrase ‘social enterprise'. It brings unnecessary confusion to the marketplace.”

Social Enterprise UK has co-ordinated the mounting global campaign against Salesforce’s actions. The campaign, called Not in Our Name, has rapidly gained pace through Twitter.

The letter to Salesforce CEO Benioff has been signed by the Social Enterprise World Forum Committee and associations in countries including Australia, Canada, Germany, Brazil, USA and South Africa.

In the UK, membership organisations representing charities and social enterprises have lent their support, including NCVO and Acevo.

Peter Holbrook, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, said:

“For Salesforce to adopt a term that has been used by a global movement of businesses that exist to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems – poverty, inequality, unemployment and global warming – could do untold damage to an important, rapidly growing sector.”

 

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

No evidence of criminality at Tower Hamlets, say police

17 Apr 2014

The Metropolitan Police has said that there is “no credible evidence of criminality” following an...

Donations double in one day following Marathon runner’s death

16 Apr 2014

The amount donated to the National Osteoporosis Society, the charity 42-year-old Robert Berry was running...

Sector 'extraordinarily disconnected' from public, CFG chair says

15 Apr 2014

Charities are becoming “extraordinarily disconnected” from donors and supporters who do not understand...

Paula Sussex to be the next Charity Commission chief executive

17 Apr 2014

Paula Sussex, senior vice president, public sector of CGI, has been appointed the new chief executive...

Impact of welfare reforms felt by 95 per cent of Yorkshire charities

17 Apr 2014

A report published today which looks at the impact of welfare reforms in the region of Yorkshire and Humber...

Trussell Trust sees use of its foodbanks 'almost triple' in a year

16 Apr 2014

The number of people using the Trussell Trust’s foodbanks rose from 347,000 to 913,000 in a single year,...

'Technology can offer charities more than just online donations'

10 Apr 2014

Charities are focusing too much on using digital tools for fundraising instead of how technology can be...

Amnesty calls for 'full and frank disclosure' on alleged US surveillance

9 Apr 2014

Amnesty International has warned that alleged mass surveillance by the American intelligence agency NSA...

Virgin Money Giving launches app following year of growth

1 Apr 2014

Virgin Money Giving has launched an app for users after reporting that 30 per cent of traffic to its platform...

Join the discussion

 Twitter button

@CSFinance