Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive, Social Enterprise UK responding to the Thomson Reuters Foundation latest research on the best places to be a social entrepreneur:
“We welcome all research into social entrepreneurs and social enterprises in the UK and around the world. This research has raised the question to what extent the UK can be seen as a “world leader” on social enterprise. We believe that the UK can be a world leader but only if it changes course.”
Although we have a more positive view about the state of the social enterprise in the UK based on our comprehensive survey of over 2,000 social enterprises, we agree with this research that social entrepreneurship is booming around the world. Social enterprises in the UK and organisations such as the British Council have led work around the world to grow our movement and should be proud of their achievements.
But the UK government needs to read this report as a wake-up call. While it has been asleep at the wheel, other countries have put their foot on the accelerator. We cannot live off past successes and we must focus on the big barriers to growth. This means reforming our tax system, deepening the use of social value in procurement and changing company law to make social enterprise a bigger part of our economy.
The relegation of social enterprise and social entrepreneurship down the policy agenda has also made it harder to create the right conditions for the sector to thrive. We are businesses and should be at the heart of business policy making in the Department for Business.
Social enterprise is the future of business. Countries around the world recognise this. It is time the UK government recognised this too.
For more information on social enterprise please read our latest report Capitalism in Crisis? Transforming our Economy for People and Planet