- Available in: Print and PDF
- Published: January 1, 2007
Edited by Andrea Westall and Danny Chalkely.
Published 2007 (ISBN: 1 905370 17 2) Price £9.95
Social enterprises are dynamic businesses with a social purpose, working all around the UK and internationally to deliver lasting social and environmental change. The social enterprise sector is incredibly diverse, encompassing co-operatives, development trusts, community enterprises, housing associations, football supporters’ trusts, social firms and leisure trusts, among others. Recent data published by the Small Business Service suggests that there are more than 15,000 social enterprises in the UK, employing nearly half a million people, with a combined turnover of £18bn. Despite a genuine recognition of their strong record in delivering services, the take up of the social enterprise model across local and national government is patchy and fails to reflect the enthusiasm with which it is discussed. The essays in this collection bring the experiences of social entrepreneurs together with those of experts from local and regional government, business and the charitable sectors to examine how the barriers to more widespread use of social enterprise could be surmounted. What can companies, local authorities and government do to ensure that he role of social enterprises as competitive businesses that create wealth and jobs is realised? What should be done to ensure a level playing field to enable social enterprises to compete for procurement contracts? Taken together, the authors’ contributions offer a vision of how, with the right kind of support, the development of social enterprises could make a radical difference to the way we provide public services and stimulate community enterprise, employment and regeneration.