In August and September 2020, SEUK and the British Council ran a global survey of social enterprises to explore the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This report presents findings from that survey, presented by region, which provide information about how social enterprises have responded to the crisis. The report explores the impact on different demographic groups as well as variations across global regions, it looks at existing and required support provision, growth expectations and impacts on social enterprises as generators of employment.

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  • Social enterprises are agile: two-thirds of social enterprises are running different businesses now compared to before the Covid-19 crisis
  • Over a third of social enterprises said that there are no government support measures available to them. Even in countries with more state support, specific social enterprise support is minimal and mainstream support is often hard to access.
  • Continued support is crucial: almost half of social enterprises are uncertain about their future growth and survival prospects.
  • Social enterprises led by women, by people aged under 35 and those targeting vulnerable groups are less optimistic about future survival, raising concerns the crisis is exacerbating existing inequalities
  • Women-led social enterprises seem to have been more adversely affected by the crisis. Almost a third have seen activity reduce and three percent have permanently closed. They are also much more likely to say that government support isn’t available to them.