Social Enterprise progress for the UK
- 20 Aug
Social Enterprise Network of The Guardian recently did a live Q&A with Christine Wilson, head of youth and society from the British Council about Social Enterprise in the UK.
Defining social enterprise:
I like the Social Enterprise UK definition - A social enterprise is a business that trades for a social and/or environmental purpose. It will have a clear sense of its social mission, which means it will know what difference it is trying to make, who it aims to help, and how it plans to do it. It will bring in most or all of its income through selling goods or services. And it will also have clear rules about what it does with its profits, reinvesting these to further the social mission.
NGO to social enterprise:
A lot of the organisations we work with are supporting NGOs in transition to social enterprises. It's not often cut and dried - in the first few years at least, they are still in receipt of charitable donations or other sources of funding. Other NGOs I have seen start up an enterprise of some sort - perhaps a charity shop, or some other sort of trading arm - as an additional source of income. A couple of organisations I recently visited in Burma fit these descriptions - FXB Myanmar and Proximity Design.
Reasons for growth:
In some places, social entrepreneurs are looking for more sustainable ways of tackling issues they face. They feel charitable donations or foundational funding don't offer stability, so they look for more reliable sources of income. In other countries, such as China, there is an interest (as there is in the UK), of delivering better public services (or trying to), by putting power in the hands of the people and communities in receipt of those services.
The ability to measure social impact is key:
It's certainly vital in seeking finance - investors want to know that their money is being well managed and that the organisation is achieving its stated goals. But in addition, I think being able to demonstrate social impact - people being brought out of poverty, young people having new skills, jobs being created, pollution diminished, whatever the aim of the social entrepreneur - is crucial to show the world that this is not "business as usual".
There is the umbrella organisation route, where social enterprises fund a central body to represent them, offer support and so on. We are trying to create more opportunities for entrepreneurs in the UK and the rest of the world to engage, share practice and have dialogue on policy, so keep an eye on the International Hub.
To see the remainder of Christines responses please follow the link below. There were also responses from International representatives to give their perspective from their country.
https://socialenterprise.guardian.co.uk ... -best-bits
- 06 Feb
Housing association helps the environment and homeless at the same time
Northward Housing and The Mustard Tree homeless charity have teamed up to help get people back into work. The charity's Standfirm enterprise sees properties left by Northward's tenants, who have...
- 03 Feb
Trash to treasure scheme
Mr Pearce, from Broughton, Salford, is launching a new social enterprise ‘Old to New Furnishings', with the help of a grant from social housing provider Salix Homes. This new enterprise renovates...
- 27 Jan
WakeOrDonate app helps charity's gain donations
WakeOrDonate is a mobile phone app which will make a donation to a charity each time the snooze button is pressed on someone's phone alarm. The app has been developed by Ronan Finnegan, a nineteen...
- 06 Sep
A new approach to help people find care
A peer-support model is a way of working that allows the sector to save money whilst also giving reliable support and care to those needing it. Peer brokers will help other care-users manage their...
- 07 Jun
Pilot Project Shows Social Enterprises Can Tackle Local Problems
The JRF pilot project in Bradford shows the untapped potential that locally based social enterprises have to solve local problems.The report also says that local authorities should place a higher...
- 29 May
Charities would rather trade as a Social Enterprise
The results of the survey showed 92% said they would like to increase their income from trading and government contracts in the next three years.From asking 100 charities, the results shows that more...
- 03 May
Charities and Businesses form New Social Enterprise
New methods need to be found for funding new social enterprises to free them from traditional methods and generate new methods of spending as well as methods of funding.Foundations traditionally...
- 27 Mar
Social Enterprise to help those with learning difficulties is expanding!
Loddon Social Enterprise will from next month be able to provide facilities where cooking, artwork and computer skills can be learned to increase the work experience for adults who have learning...
- 08 Mar
Social enterprise spending to reduce reoffending
The process still seems to be a learning process at present, and the ministry have recently completed a consultation on the sector to gain helpful feedback.They will be giving out a second grant to...
- 28 Feb
Remploy Workers want to buy Factory as Social Enterprise
The factories that make components and assemble car parts in Birmingham, Coventry and Derby, will lose all funding from the government by September.They were left open when thirty four Remploy...
Exempt Accommodation, Welfare Reform and Vulnerable Tenants Everything was extremely useful. I like to hear about the updated case law and how things are changing. Also like to hear other delegates examples and the responses to their difficulties. Support solutions are excellent. K.B- Jephson Housing Association