Current Economy No Match For Social Enterprise In UK



New research reveals that social enterprises are bucking all the trends, with over half having increased their annual turn-over since the start of the recession.

The research, from the Government-funded Social Enterprise Coalition survey was published today to celebrate Social Enterprise Day. It also reveals that there are more women leaders of social enterprises than any other sector, and the ethnic group most likely to start a social enterprise is Black African and Caribbean.

As part of the celebrations Cabinet Office Ministers are taking part in enterprise events across the country and attending this year’s Social Enterprise Awards, which are being held at a reception at No 10.

Angela Smith, Minister for the Third Sector,

“I am delighted that Social Enterprises are thriving even in these tough economic times and Social Enterprise Day is a great way of celebrating their success.

“Social enterprises have a key role in society, they contribute to the economy like any other business while at the same time bringing together and empowering communities. We have invested well over £100 million in promoting social enterprise, developing the skills of social entrepreneurs, and supporting social enterprises to access appropriate investment.”

The UK Government was the first to recognise the importance and value of social enterprise, other governments around the world now look to the UK Government for advice on how they can work with social enterprises in their own countries.

Whilst it is clear that the social enterprise sector is growing and the impact of the sector on society and the environment is growing; there is still a lack of awareness around what a social enterprise is and how they operate. In recognition of this obstacle, the Government has funded a project to enable the sector create an identity for itself.

Angela Smith said:

“I am particularly pleased that we are supporting the sector to create a ‘Social Enterprise Identifier’ and I am very much looking forward to the launch early in the New Year. The identifier will enable social enterprises to market themselves better to customers and investors.”

To celebrate Social Enterprise Day:

  • Dawn Butler, the new Minister for Young Citizens and Youth Engagement, visited ‘One Big Idea’ competition launch for young people to design a product that will be sold in the Co-op, with profits going to help fund projects in Malawi.
  • Angela Smith attended the Striding Out Future 100 Awards recognising the achievements of young social entrepreneurs.
  • Angela Smith attended ‘Dare to be Different’, the launch of the UnLtd HEI Social Enterprise Awards which will provide resources and development support to social entrepreneurs in higher education.
  • Angela Smith visited Bikeworks, a social enterprise in Hackney, providing training to get more people cycling; recycling and refurbishing second hand bikes for sale; and also creating training and employment opportunities in disadvantaged communities.
  • Winners of this year’s Social Enterprise Awards announced at No 10 reception. Last year’s winners of ‘Best New Social Enterprise’; The Sunlight Development Trust will also take over No. 10’s kitchens for the day and will provide catering at the reception

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