In June 2021 we decided, as a publishing house, to become a Social Enterprise. But what does that actually mean and what difference will it make? (If you’d like to hear from our CEO and owner on why we’re chosen this route, here is a video from him explaining.)
In general terms, a Social Enterprise is an organisation that has a social purpose. That purpose will be written into the governing documents of the organisation and should permeate everything that organisation does. We’ve decided that from June 2021 our social purpose here at Impress Books is to make the voices heard of those who are marginalised in society. What that means for the books we publish is that an increasing number of them will include the experiences of those who might be:
- or economically disadvantaged,
- or racially marginalised,
- or mentally impaired,
- or abused or silenced in any other way.
We want to understand their perspectives and how they experience the world. We already have some books that fit this theme, such as He’s Gone, The End of Where We Begin, Stephen From the Inside Out and The Day’s Heat. But over the next 12 months and beyond, there will be more.
Why? Because we believe society is too divided, and that by understanding each other – especially those we don’t hear from or about – we can start to heal those divisions. We can learn from each other. We can make our society a more welcoming and, well, a kinder place. We’ll still publish a range of fiction and non-fiction books, but an increasing number of them will explicitly fit with this purpose. We’ve changed the way we review submissions to include this, for example.
But being a Social Enterprise is more than that. We’ll need to look closely at the people we seek out to work with us – staff, editors and more. We’ll need to actively look for those whose voices we believe should be heard. We’ll need to review whether the way we work as a business needs to change to be more inclusive.
There will be more, but we’re only at the very start of our journey. There is a lot for us to do, but by becoming a Social Enterprise, we’ve committed ourselves to doing that. At least 51% of our profits will be reinvested to help us achieve this
We’re not political. We don’t campaign. But we do want the world to hear from those who don’t usually get discussion time on news, social media, in films/TV and literature.
If you’d like to support us, we’ll be setting up some Kickstarter campaigns to help fund books furthering this social purpose soon, as well as a Patreon page for those interested in supporting us directly. In the meantime, if you’d like to donate to a ring-fenced fund to further our social purpose, you can do so here.