Social Enterprise Places are areas where social enterprise activity is thriving. From quarters, towns, cities and zones - areas around the UK are declaring themselves as social enterprise places committed to investing in the sector.  

Social Enterprise UK is recognising these hotspots of social enterprise activity by awarding them with the Social Enterprise Place badge, celebrating their achievements and supporting them to grow.  

Registered Social Enterprise Places will be supported to reach out to and involve local councils, businesses, charities, consumers and budding social entrepreneurs -  bringing them together to grow their social enterprise communities.

The programme aims to promote,  raise awareness, and build the markets for social enterprise at a local and national level.

Commenting on Oxfordshire being named a Social Enterprise Place the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister MP, David Cameron, said:

“It’s fantastic that Oxfordshire is the first county to become a Social Enterprise Place – a beacon of social enterprise activity. Social enterprises trade to tackle some of the greatest challenges we face, from unemployment to food waste. It is a great way to raise awareness of the vital and growing role social enterprises play in our economy and local communities in Oxfordshire and across the country.”

Gareth Hart - Chair of the Plymouth Social Enterprise Network commented on the impact the Programme has had on Plymouth:

"Plymouth’s Social Enterprise City badge has helped to lever in over £6 million of investment and support for social enterprises in the city from national and local sources. It led to the Council developing commissioning and procurement policies for social value and has seen national organisations like Power to Change, Esmée Fairbairn, Rank Foundation and Big Society Capital coming to, and investing in Plymouth. The Social Enterprise City concept has undoubtedly helped achieve a huge amount for the city but it is still a brand with more potential."

There are now 20 accredited Places in the UK

How can my area become a Social Enterprise Place? 

Any area can apply for recognition, but you to be a Social Enterprise Place it must have:

  • Significant social enterprise activity
  • Established a Social Enterprise Place stakeholder group. The group is a collection of individuals and representatives of organisations who come together to represent their area.  There is no set model for the steering group – it can be formed and organised in a way that works best for your area. Some Places may have existing networks in place, whereas others may be formed especially for the Social Enterprise Places programme.  

To find out more and to apply click here

Building inclusive and resilient social economies

Over the last three years, the Places Programme has grown from an idea from one of Social Enterprise UK’s members to a growing network of 20 places across the UK with reach of over  5.4million people. It's even started to spread internationally.

This report looks in more depth at the activity and effects of the programme from April 2014 to September 2016. In particular, it looks at:

  • initial aggregate numbers
  • impact of town drives & events
  • outcomes associated with the status and recognition
  • qualitative learning and findings into ‘what helps create a social enterprise place?’
  • recommendations for those seeking to build local, resilient social economies

Download the report here

The first three year's of the Places Programme was sponsored by Santander whose support was invaluable in enabling the Programmes' growth and development. 

If you're interested in supporting the next stage of the Programme as it expands across the UK and internationally please contact salim.sharif@socialenterprise.org.uk