Social Enterprises set to continue growing...

12 July 2011 | By Cause4 staff

In June 2010 the RBS SE100 Data Report was launched to reveal, for the first time, results tracking the growth of social enterprises in the UK. At the time, the ‘100 highest growth’ social businesses in the community enterprise sector were reported to have achieved an impressive 80% annual increase in revenue. Of the 350 social enterprises involved in the index, the combined turnover stood at over £2.4m.

Now, one year on, the results for 2010/11 have been released. Once again social enterprises have risen above the despair of the economic downturn, with the top 100 fastest growing enterprises increasing by an incredible average of 91%. Furthermore, the average growth of start-up enterprises was 5,490% compared with just 120% last year.

It is highly important for social entrepreneurs, individuals and teams to take initiative in building robust innovative businesses that can be strategically developed to offer solutions for unmet social need.

Later this month, we will also see the release of a survey on the state of social enterprises issued by the Social Enterprise Coalition. In anticipation, an article published last month by Third Sector Online, stated the number of social enterprises in the UK is growing at almost twice the rate of other businesses. In an address given to the Public Administration Select Committee - which has conducted an enquiry into the effectiveness of the Big Society - Chair of Social Enterprise Coalition Claire Dove implied that the SEC survey had produced extremely positive findings regarding the position of social enterprises within UK society and business market. She said “There’s been an explosion in the number of social enterprises...the proportion is nearly twice that of small and medium-sized enterprise.”

If the findings are a true representation of the wider picture then they are extremely encouraging. It is highly important for social entrepreneurs, individuals and teams to take initiative in building robust innovative businesses that can be strategically developed to offer solutions for unmet social need. This is ever more significant at a time when it is widely agreed that the UK needs a more diverse economy that is influenced from the bottom-up to become more sustainable. Social Enterprises give the Government’s Big Society the support it needs to reform the economy through a balance of local and civil life.

RBS SE100 also presented awards totalling £25,000 to exceptional businesses during a ceremony held at theatre, music and film venue Rich Mix, London on Monday. A staggering 409 social enterprises were included within this year’s Index to which key prizes were awarded to The Wise Group (Impact Champion 2011) for the innovative use of impact measurement to win business from the private sector, Healthy Planet (Trailblazing Newcomer 2011) for their ambition and impressive results and Cool2Care (Growth Champion 2011) for not only growing at an incredible rate but also for their sustainability, diversification and investment. All highly deserved winners – Well Done and keep up the excellent work.



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