Griffiths ‘determined to transform DTI approach to social enterprise’

Griffiths ‘determined to transform DTI approach to social enterprise’




January 7th Barbara Phillips released the news that the English Social
Enterprise Unit is to be subsumed into their Small Business Service.  The social enterprise community, which is well organised down south,
reacted vigorously to what is perceived as a downgrading.  Glenys Thornton led the charge and the Minister Nigel Griffiths got the message…



14 January 2004


from: Nigel Griffiths MP




Mr Jonathan Bland

Chief Executive

Social Enterprise Coalition



Dear Jonathan,


Social Enterprise Community and Social Enterprise Unit (SEU)


am very concerned to see the flurry of e-mails about the future of the
Social Enterprise Unit. The last thing I want to see is any downgrading
of the social enterprise agenda within and across government.


contribution, and that of the coalition of organisations that you
represent have been crucial to our achievements so far. I am determined
to ensure that we continue to work together to implement the strategy
and achieve our shared vision.


Wyn Griffith strongly believes that this move, under his direct control
can transform the DTI approach to social enterprise and I have asked
him and Mark Gibson to discuss with members of the Social Enterprise
Coalition on Monday the role of the SEU and the way forward for the
social enterprise agenda.


will also be an item on the agenda at the Social Enterprise
Implementation Group next week. I am confident that, working together,
we can resolve any differences.


Best wishes.

Yours sincerely,








Nigel Griffiths MP

Parliamentary Under-Secretary

Department of Trade and Industry

1 Victoria Street

London SW1



15th January 2004



Dear Nigel,


Proposed Reorganisation of the Social Enterprise Unit


you for your letter yesterday. Jonathan Bland and the officers of the
Coalition are putting together a team to take part in a discussion with
Mark Gibson and Martin Wyn-Griffith about the future of the proposals
as outlined by Barbara Phillips in her email of 7th January. I am very
pleased that you have reacted with such speed and sympathy and have
frozen the reorganisation process until we have been able to discuss
the issue thoroughly.


As you know, from the emails that have been exchanged, there is a large majority who are very concerned about the proposal.  We hope we shall be addressing the following questions with your colleagues:


1.         Why was change necessary at all?  And
if a review was due, why not have a review that looks at where work is
still to be done to deliver the Social Enterprise Strategy, some parts
of which are significantly not delivering.

2.         How
does this proposal help to deliver the Government’s own agenda about
developing a social enterprise sector that is broadly based, includes
large and small enterprises, and addresses the public services reform
agenda? This is particularly pertinent given the Government’s
definition of small business and the emphasis on social exclusion of
the SBS.

3.         Who
will head up the Unit, what level of seniority will they have and how
will they work effectively to influence the policy and programmes of
other government departments?





Baroness Glenys Thornton


Social Enterprise Coalition