Our political work is intimately linked to, and is designed to reinforce, our strategic priorities: supporting members as they are at the heart of what we do; encouraging the public sector to Buy Social; supporting social enterprises locally through our Places programme; and, the Social Value Act.
We have built a reputation for the effectiveness of our political campaigns, run an annual programme of political events and have a strong track record in influencing the policy agenda.
We work hard to influence politicians across the political spectrum, to make sure that social enterprise is understood and supported regardless of who is in power nationally, locally or in the devolved Governments. This work utilizes the full range of communication channels: attending party conferences, influencing manifestos, events, briefings, and visits.
We helped draft, and supported through Parliament, the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, a measure designed to encourage those who commission public sector contracts to secure social, economic and environmental benefits from their work. Through evidence-based lobbying we have secured two reviews by Government of the Act, and continue to push for a stronger Act.
We convene the Social Economy Alliance, a group drawn from across the social economy, who have come together to encourage decision makers to grow the movement. Prior to the 2015 General Election, the Alliance produced an influential manifesto which has already led to change including the development of entrepreneurial apprenticeships, policy which has extended the way that the Social Value Act can be used, a consultation on social pensions, adoption of the EU Directive on contracts being quickly adopted, and greater transparency for taxpayers.
Increasingly devolved, local government has significant power to shape local economies and encourage the development of social enterprises. We work closely with Mayors and councillors to create the right commissioning and procurement framework, promote best practice, and consideration of social value.
Social Enterprise UK also acts as the Secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Enterprise.
Political sponsorship has allowed us to commission and produce reports like Our Money Our Future, engage with politicians at the party conferences, support the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Enterprise and input into Government consultations.
In uncertain political times, it is important that the social enterprise movement has a strong voice in Westminster and Whitehall and we are looking for sponsors for our political work for 2018-19 who can help us deliver for the wider movement. Do have a read of our prospectus and get in touch.
SEUK’s political work is supported by The Co-operative Energy, CAN, Fusion 21, and First Ark Group: