Brown: social entrepreneurs make change happen

Brown: social entrepreneurs make change happen
Crimson Business Ltd.

An extra £37m is to be set aside for social enterprise ventures, Gordon Brown announced today.

Speaking via video link to delegates of Voice08, the annual social enterprise conference, which was held in Liverpool, Brown revealed £10m was to be put into a new risk capital fund for social enterprises.

Also announced was the addition of £27m for the Social Enterprise Investment Fund in health and social care, bringing the total for that fund up to £100m so far.

The fund supports the development of ventures such as women’s refuges, migraine clinics and exercise programmes for the elderly.

Brown said social entrepreneurs had ‘that rare mix of idealism and dogged determination that makes change happen’.

He added: “The best social entreprises are not just dynamic and successful businesses, they are an ethical example to those who follow in their wake.

“They show that better conditions for staff are possible, and these things can sit side by side with commercial success.”

According to figures from the government’s annual small business survey there are over 55,000 social enterprises in the UK with a combined turnover of £27bn.

Social enterprises account for 5% of all businesses with employees and contribute £8.4bn per year to the UK economy, equating to 1% of annual GDP.