Social Enterprise UK

Social Enterprise UK Funding

The ecommerce merch team! [Photo by lululemon athletica] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The outgoing CEO of Social Investment Business, Jonathan Lewis, will head up an NHS social enterprise UK spin-off in August. Lewis has been discussing ways to increase social investment, and his top recommendation is that charities and social enterprises need to work very had to make themselves more attractive to commercial funders. He said that they can’t expect lenders to come to them, so they must think very hard about how to make themselves commercially bankable via resource sharing or mergers and acquisitions, for example.

Lewis also said that more money would help stimulate the social investment market, and that more companies like 3SC, which allows charities and social enterprises to bid for the largest contracts, were also needed. Lewis recommended that commissioning needed to change as well, to become more outward-looking and actively seek out the best solution in a straightforward manner.

Out of the Dark Social Enterprise UK

Artists from across Bucks county in the UK are once again opening their doors to welcome the public to their studios as part of the 25th annual Bucks Open Studios week. Among the 450 artists who will be displaying their works is an art project called Out of the Dark, a social enterprise UK that helps train and employ young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

They learn to recycle and revamp salvaged furniture to keep it from going into landfills. The project is a spinoff from Street Dreams, which was set up to support disadvantaged youth through life coaching, sports, arts and media. Out of the Dark is located at Unit 6, Abercromby Works, Oakridge Road, High Wycombe. This was the ideal choice for Out of the Dark as it used to be the center of furniture craftsmanship in the 20th century, with many furniture giants such as Ercol, G-Plan and Parker Knoll operating in the town.

Social Enterprise UK Growing Fast

The performer type [Photo by HikingArtist.com] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Claire Dove, chair of the Social Enterprise Coalition (SEC) in the UK, tells MPs that there has been an explosion in the number of social enterprises recently. The social enterprise UK sector is now growing at almost twice the rate of other types of business, and a recent SEC survey on the state of social enterprise found extremely positive results. The proportion is nearly twice that of small and medium sized enterprises, and there are more women and people from black communities heading up social businesses as well. Most social enterprises in the UK are concentrated in the poorest communities.

Social enterprises that traded with the general public were found to be doing better than those that contracted primarily with the government. Those which contracted with the government were struggling due to a lack of capital and difficulty managing payment-by-results contracts. Many of these social enterprises told the coalition that they would issue redundancy notices over the next 12 months.