Research

We carry out and commission research to help build the case for social enterprises and to help support our work shaping government policy and public opinion.  

Below are our most recent publications. All of our research reports, and guides, are available to download in the resources library.

STATE OF SOCIAL ENTERPRISE 2015 

The State of Social Enterprise Report 2015, supported by Santander, is the most comprehensive research undertaken into the state of the sector. The report shows that social enterprises in the UK are thriving, outperforming their mainstream SME counterparts in nearly every area of business: turnover growth, workforce growth, job creation, innovation, business optimism, and start-up rates.

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CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO SEE PICTURES FROM THE LAUNCH OF THE REPORT AT THE RSA

State of Social Enterprise 2015 - Report LaunchTHINK GLOBAL, TRADE SOCIAL (2015)

Social Enterprise UK and the British Council, with the support of the World Bank, have written a report which makes the case that the Sustainable Development Goals must embrace the potential of business to deliver meaningful sustainable development. The Think Global, Trade Social Report includes a foreword by Nobel Laureate, Professor Muhammad Yunus.

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COMMUNITIES COUNT (2014)

Communities Count: the Four Steps to Unlocking Social Value is the most comprehensive research report to date on social value. With practical recommendations for organisations in all sectors

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SPIN OUT, STEP UP

This report reflects on how spin-outs’ finance needs are perceived, the types and sources of finance available to them, their perceived ‘investment readiness’ and how social return plays a role in their ability to attract finance.

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BUSINESS RATES, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC VALUE

This report, published by Social Enterprise UK, 3Space and Meanwhile Space proposes how business rates can be used as a tool to nurture new, diverse and community focused enterprise on high streets.

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THE SHADOW STATE

The Shadow State report is about the public sector outsourcing. It shows that large private companies and their shareholders are taking a lot of money out of the public realm, yet research shows there's very little support for shareholders profiting from public services among voters. The report makes a number of recommendations, including that the Social Value Act be strengthened so that it includes statutory guidance, and the need for public bodies to account for social value in procurement. 

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OUT OF THE SHADOWS?

In this progress report published almost one year on from The Shadow State, it is revealed that while private firms have been criticised for poor performance, they continue to profit from public services and operate without transparency and accountability.

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