On this page you'll find the research projects we are currently working on as we continue to build the evidence base for the social enterprise movement.

Social and Creative Cities

Social Enterprise UK have been commissioned by The British Council to conduct research into the Social and Creative City Economy of the Future.

Recent decades have seen an increase in the significance and influence of the city/the city region, economically and politically, as well as socially and culturally. Across the world city regions are engines of growth, trade, co-operation and exchange. They are increasingly powerful and influential on the global stage. Moreover, cities in many countries are taking over from national governments in terms of their leadership. While countries still negotiate high level agreements, a growing number of cities are developing their own international strategies and city-to-city relationships.

For more information click here.


The State of Social Value

There have been many positive steps since the introduction of the Social Value Act, but commissioners are still a long way from considering social value as an equal part of the commissioning process.

Building on previous research on and programmes supporting the delivery of social value in the public sector, this autumn SEUK will be carrying out a research project that will look at why the Social Value Act isn’t more widely used and how we can change that.

For more information click here


Public Services Mutuals Research 

This research project for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) examines the role and potential of Public Service Mutuals (“Mutuals”). The project presents an important opportunity for Mutuals to contribute to the further development of their own organisations and the sector by helping to identify success factors and support needs.

Mutuals are organisations that have left the public sector to become independent enterprises that deliver an increasing variety of public services, including in health, social care, education, culture, leisure and housing. They can be any legal form, but many are voluntary, community or social enterprises which facilitate the involvement of employees, service users and other stakeholders in organisational decision making and innovation.

The research, which runs for three years from January 2018, will collect evidence in order to:    

  • monitor the current health and development of the Mutuals sector
  • contribute insight and learning to help make the case for the mutual model as a viable way of delivering public services
  • inform policy decisions about how government and others can further support the growth and sustainability of Mutuals

The work includes a ‘State of the Sector’ survey conducted by Social Enterprise UK to which all Mutuals (approximately 110) are invited to respond, and longitudinal case studies of 12 Mutuals to gain further understanding of the issues and challenges faced. The case study Mutuals will be selected to represent different sectors/service activities, ranging from small to large organisations, at different stages of development, and in different regions and types of locality. The research will run over a two year period, and include interviews and workshops with organisation leaders and staff at different levels and, where possible, service users, partners, Middlesex Universitys, commissioners and providers of support.