Social enterprises ‘can play a key role in UK recovery’

Social enterprises can be drivers of skills and job creation post-COVID according to a report Commissioned by the Enterprise Research Centre and Liverpool social enterprise, The Women’s Organisation

Maggie O'Carroll
Maggie O’Carroll, chief executive of The Women’s Organisation


Social enterprises can play a “pivotal” role in the UK’s recovery from COVID-19, according to a new report.

Commissioned by the Enterprise Research Centre in partnership with Liverpool social enterprise, The Women’s Organisation, the study says social enterprises can have a positive impact on the UK economy by developing skills and creating jobs.

Published as the first in a series of five State of The Art (SOTA) reviews, the report – The role of social enterprise in developing skills and creating employment opportunities in the UK – outlines how social enterprises can support the post-COVID-19 recovery through improved funding mechanisms and updated policy.

Within the review, author Professor Richard Hazenberg explores the relationship between social enterprises and education, training and employment to identify the clear benefits of the involvement in building community cohesion, and urban regeneration.

Collaborating to build knowledge, the SOTA review series is produced by nationally and internationally recognised economic experts. The research sought through these Reviews will offer specialist insight into how social enterprises can play a key role in driving economic recovery and supporting the communities hit hardest by the impact of COVID-19.

Each of the five reviews in the series tackle individual key themes in relation to social enterprise, including employment and skills opportunities, diversity and inclusion, and environmental sustainability.

Maggie O’Carroll, chief executive of The Women’s Organisation, said: “Having a robust evidence base is critical to effective policy and investments decisions. These reviews provide important insights on how the social economy is at the forefront of the UK’s economic and social recovery.”

“One of primary methods in which social enterprises support upskilling and employment creation is by focusing on the creation of social value, particularly in disadvantaged areas. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are already having a disproportionate effect on socially excluded populations.

“This research highlights how social enterprises are ideally placed to understand the complex needs of local communities, enabling them to deliver vital interventions, and potentially create more impact than mainstream programmes, within disadvantaged areas.”

In the UK it is estimated that there are 100,000 social enterprises accounting for more than £60bn of UK GDP and employing 1.44m people.

It is also estimated that if the economy was dominated by social enterprises rather than shareholder dominated businesses, 4m more people would be being paid the real living wage and £118bn of profits per annum would be reinvested back into society.

The SOTA Review offers six recommendations for Government:

  • Focus on social value.
  • Prioritise post-COVID skills for and employment.
  • Promote equality, diversity and inclusion in employment.
  • Support for employee ownership models.
  • Increase Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy support for the development of social enterprises.
  • Grow the green sector.

Click here to read the full review

You might also like More from author

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Username field is empty.