Leading the World in Social Enterprise

Leading the World in Social Enterprise 
Social Enterprise UK


A dynamic movement:


Close to half (49%) of all social enterprises are five years old or less. 35% are three years old or less – more than three times the proportion of SME start-ups. In terms of new business formation in the UK, social enterprise is where the action is.


At the forefront of economic recovery:


The proportion of social enterprises that grew their turnover over the past 12 months is 52%. A greater proportion of social enterprises are growing than mainstream SMEs (40%).


Making a profit, making a difference:


50% of social enterprises reported a profit, with 26% breaking even. Almost all use the majority of those profits to further their social or environmental goals.


Focused where most needed:


31% of social enterprises are working in the top 20% most deprived communities in the UK.


Operating globally:


The proportion of social enterprises that export or licence has grown to 14%. For over 1⁄3 of these, international trade accounts for between 11% and 50% of income.


It’s all about business:


73% of social enterprises earn more than 75% of their income from trade.


Stronger than ever in public services:


27% of social enterprises have the public sector as their main source of income, an increase on 2013 and 2011. 59% of social enterprises do some business with the public sector.


Innovation pioneers:


The number of social enterprises introducing a new product or service in the last 12 months has increased to 59%. Among SMEs it has fallen to 38%.


An inclusive and diverse leadership:


40% of social enterprises are led by women; 31% have Black Asian Minority Ethnic directors; 40% have a director with a disability.


Job creators:


41% of social enterprises created jobs in the past 12 months compared to 22% of SMEs.


Not just any jobs:


59% of social enterprises employ at least one person who is disadvantaged in the labour market. For 16% of social enterprises, this group forms at least half of all employees.


Paying fair:


The average pay ratio between social enterprise CEO pay and the lowest paid is just 3.6:1 – for FTSE 100 CEOs, this ratio stands at 150:1.


Not getting in on the Act:


49% of social enterprises operating in public sector markets say they’re yet to see it arrive in tender documents – there is much to do before the Social Value Act works as intended.


Appropriate funding and finance still key:


44% of social enterprises sought funding or finance in the last 12 months and 39% believe its lack of availability is a barrier to their sustainability. Just 5% of SMEs think access to finance is a barrier. 


Read the full report here