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News - 14 July 2013

UK Social Enterprise Awards

The Independent on Sunday [IoS] is sponsoring the national awards for social enterprises which are estimated to contribute £18.5bn to the economy. Brighton should be able to field a winner.

A social enterprise is a business with primarily social and/or environmental objectives where profits are principally reinvested in the business or in the community to realize their aims, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.

The national State of Social Enterprise Survey 2013 highlights a booming business model. Over 90% of the 70,000 UK social enterprises have at least one woman on their leadership team and just under 33% have a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic director compared to a paltry 11% of traditional SMEs. Nearly two out of every five managed to increase their profits last year compared to less than a third of conventional businesses.

Locally the city has dozens of companies that have adopted the business model. One of the best known - Care Co-ops -
has secured a lease to develop the first dedicated Social Enterprise Centre in Brighton and Hove behind St Pauls Church in West Street. It will provide serviced offices, desk hire, meeting and training rooms, events space, social enterprise resource centre and a cafe for the benefit of the local community.

Legal & General, employing 1,600 people at its City Park office complex, has launched a Social Enterprise Assist pilot to support the sector [see earlier story]. If successful it wants to roll out the scheme across the UK involving other large corporates as well.

Although social enterprise is not a sector as such, in recognition of its increasing importance in the city the Economic Partnerships most recent member – Tracey Allen – runs her own social enterprise [SEA PR consultancy] and is also spearheading the Living Wage Campaign on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce and the City Council.

If you want to nominate an individual or a company for the IoS sponsored awards go to
www.socialenterprise.org.uk/social-enterprise-awards-2013
. Deadline is September 6
th
with the award ceremony on 27
th
November.

 


Read related items on:
Social Enterprises
Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership
Care Co-ops
Legal and General
Allen, Tracey


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