Social enterprises employ 800,000

Social enterprises employ 800,000





Social enterprises employ more than 775,000 people and are operating in a diverse range of trades, official research shows.


The Department of Trade and Industry this week published its survey of the social enterprise sector results. The survey says there are about 15,000 UK social enterprises -defined as firms with social aims. This is about one per cent of all UK firms with employees.


The research shows that UK social enterprises have an annual turnover of £18 billion. While they are found across the country, 22 per cent are in London.

Only half of all social enterprises operate in areas of high deprivation, with about 49 per cent working in more affluent wards, the study says.


‘This shows that, as a business form, social enterprise is attractive for reasons other than regenerating deprived communities,’ the report says. ‘Further research, could look at motivations for setting up a social enterprise.’


But, a policy official working for a social enterprise umbrella group said more social enterprises could -be operating in more commercial trades such as retail. These firms were excluded from the figures as they were not officially recognised.


She said: ‘These are only companies limited by guarantee or as industrial and provident societies. Earlier research suggested this type of business would capture the majority of social enterprises.’


The Small Business Service: Survey of Social Enterprises Across the UK is available via

Source: Regeneration & Renewal magazine