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State of the UK Social Entrepreneurship

The UK is viewed by many other countries as a pioneer of social enterprise and the associated practices of social investment and social value. Government statistics identify around 70,000 social enterprises in the UK, contributing £24 billion to the economy and employing nearly a million people.



​In "The Future of Business (State of Social Enterprise Survey 2017)" report the Chair of Social Enterprise UK (the national body for social enterprises in the UK) – Lord Victor Adebowale summarizes that in the last ten years there has been a wave of start-up dynamism with a new generation of businesses choosing the social enterprise approach: “embedding a social purpose in their DNA, acting commercially, and reinvesting their profits to create a more positive change”. Lord Victor also highlights that the social enterprises’ landscape in 2017 looks very different compared to the year of 2007 – pre-2008 crash, pre-austerity, pre-Brexit – and concludes that social enterprises represent the future of how everyone should be doing business. More precisely - by having a sustainable business model with a clear social purpose, working and employing in the most challenging areas and doing so in an accountable, fair and inclusive way.


The report “Social Enterprise in the UK” by the British Council also confirms the significant evolution in the social enterprise sector in the UK such as changes in the government’s approaches, increase in the number of incubators, a new focus on social investment and an enhanced emphasis on measuring social value.  


For a continuation of this post, please click here where you will also find more information on the BASET Project, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, under which we have conducted this research.

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