According to Government data, approximately 70,000 social enterprises in the UK employ almost a million people and contribute £18.5 billion to the UK economy (based upon 2012 Small Business Survey, 2013).

You can find more detailed data in the State of Social Enterprise Report 2015 – but here are the top line findings:

A dynamic movement: In terms of new businesses, social enterprise is where the action is. Almost half (49%) of all social enterprises are five years old or less and 35% are three years old or less. – more than three times the proportion of SME start-ups. In terms of new business formation in the UK, social enterprise is where the action is.

At the forefront of economic recovery: 52% of social enterprises increased their turnover in the past 12 months. And 40% of social enterprises are growing more than mainstream SMEs.

Making a profit, making a difference: 50% of social enterprises reported a profit, with 26% breaking even. Almost all use the majority of those profits to further their social or environmental goals.

Focused where most needed: 31% of social enterprises are working in the top 20% most deprived communities in the UK.

Operating globally: The proportion of social enterprises that export or licence has grown to 14%. For over 1⁄3 of these, international trade accounts for between 11% and 50% of income .

Stronger than ever in public services: 27% of social enterprises have the public sector as their main source of income, an increase on 2013 and 2011. 59% of social enterprises do some business with the public sector.

An inclusive and diverse leadership: 40% of social enterprises are led by women; 31% have Black Asian Minority Ethnic directors; 40% have a director with a disability.

Job creators: 41% of social enterprises created jobs in the past 12 months compared to 22% of SMEs.

Not just any jobs: 59% of social enterprises employ at least one person who is disadvantaged in the labour market. For 16% of social enterprises, this group forms at least half of all employees.

Paying fair: The average pay ratio between social enterprise CEO pay and the lowest paid is just 3.6:1 – for FTSE 100 CEOs, this ratio stands at 150:1.