About Social Enterprise UK

As the UK membership body for social enterprises, we lead the world’s largest network of businesses with a social purpose, working together to create a fairer economy and a more sustainable future for everyone. We exist to be a strong voice for social enterprise, demonstrating the difference that our sector makes and influencing decision-makers to create an environment where our way of working can thrive.


Campaigning on behalf of the social enterprise community, we lead public policy and use our comprehensive research evidence to make the case for change. We also drive cross-sector collaboration, working with private companies and public institutions to bring social enterprises into their supply chains, helping any organisation to create positive social and environmental impact.

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Become a Social Enterprise UK member

Our membership is a network that includes a diverse range of UK social enterprises, from multi-million-pound health care and public service providers to community organisations and retail businesses. Joining us means your business can display the Social Enterprise UK membership badge, demonstrating that it is an accredited social enterprise.


Members join our vibrant community of businesses set up to help make the world a better place and have access to our Members’ Area – a space where you can connect with other social enterprises and benefit from regular best practice and information sharing sessions and webinars. You’ll have access to exclusive member events and be listed on our Social Enterprise Directory, which is used by buyers from across sectors to find social enterprise suppliers. Our members sit at the heart of everything we do and inform our research, market-building and campaigning work. Organisations that prioritise social value and support the social enterprise movement can also join us as supporting members


Building the evidence base and shaping the policy environment

In order to create a policy environment which supports social enterprise, we campaign on behalf of the social enterprise community working with the UK Government, local and national policy-makers and politicians from all major parties.


We were responsible for passing the Social Value Act, which is helping to transform public spending, and we run the Secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Enterprise. Our political and campaigning work is built upon our comprehensive research, which grows the evidence base for the impact social enterprises are having on society, the economy and the environment.

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Building markets for social enterprise

Social enterprise need to find customers and commissioners to purchase or procure from them, which is why a core part of our work is helping build and grow markets for social enterprise across all sectors. Our flagship ‘Buy Social Corporate Challenge’ demonstrates how impactful business can be if it focuses on purpose as well as profit, working with some of the country’s largest businesses to help them bring social enterprises into their supply chains.


We are also working with key partners to help shift the narrative on procurement through programmes such as Social Value 2032, which aims to embed social and environmental considerations into all public sector, and more private sector, spending.

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The future of public services

Social enterprises are playing an essential role in the delivery of high-quality, dynamic and innovative public services. They are a valued and vital part of the NHS family, delivering a third of community health care services and pioneering new models of care. They are driving innovation in the provision of public transport, early years education, leisure facilities and social care with many placing staff and service users at the heart of decision making.


We work closely with our public sector members to highlight the critical role they are playing in public service delivery – running a knowledge sharing network for our health and care members, lobbying decision makers and carrying out research as to why social enterprises hold the key to developing a dynamic future for public services.

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Supporting hotspots of social enterprise activity

Social enterprises are operating in every part of the country and no-matter where you live, chances are there is a social enterprise near you. There are some localities and places in which social enterprise is particularly flourishing and our Social Enterprise Places Programme recognises and supports these ‘hotspots’ of social enterprise activity in which social enterprises are helping transform local communities.


So far there are more than 30 accredited Social Enterprise Places in the UK.

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Our international work

Social enterprises can be found all over the world, a global movement of businesses doing things differently, putting the needs of people and planet ahead of profit. Social enterprise is making the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality from reducing poverty and inequality to empowering women and protecting our forests and oceans.


We work in partnership with similar bodies across the world to make the case for social enterprise – pushing for global solutions to global problems.