2009: the year in social enterprise

2009: the year in social enterprise
Andy Ricketts and David Ainsworth, Third Sector

The social investment wholesale bank crept ever closer in 2009, and it was finally announced in this month’s pre-Budget report that the structure of the bank would be decided by the next Budget and that it would receive up to £75m from dormant bank accounts.

Co-operative Financial Services has been appointed to run a Reclaim Fund, which will return dormant assets to their legitimate owners and transfer the remainder of the money to good causes, including the SIWB.

In March, the Social Enterprise Coalition gave its approval to the social enterprise mark and agreed to work with Rise, the development organisation for south-west England that has been trialling an accreditation in the region, to develop it further. It is expected to be rolled out more widely in 2010.

In May, Jonathan Bland announced that he would stand down as chief executive of the Social Enterprise Coalition in October to go into consultancy. His replacement, Peter Holbrook, former chief executive of community organisation the Sunlight Development Trust, was revealed in September.

The three organisations that will run pilots of the Community Allowance scheme, which will enable people on benefits to do paid work for community organisations, were announced in November. The project, run by the Create consortium, a group of not-for-profit organisations set up to promote it on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions, is expected to run for two years from January.

It was also a good year for social lenders. Charity Bank and Unity Bank were among those that saw loans and deposits rise, and community development finance associations struggled to keep up with demand