APPG inquiry on impact of COVID on social enterprises logo

APPG Inquiry into the impact of COVID on social enterprises                                

The role of the Inquiry is to investigate the impact of COVID on social enterprises and what lessons can be learned.

The UK’s 100,000 social enterprises experienced the pandemic in a unique way having to balance both increased demand from those people they support and pressure on their business. Many adapted their business models and pivoted to support their communities at a faster rate than their peers.

The Inquiry aims to understand how social enterprises experienced COVID, what lessons we can learn from the pandemic and the support offered to the sector and how Government can better work with social enterprises going forward.

In order to try and answer that question the APPG has set up an inquiry with Charles Courtenay, 19th Earl of Devon, as its Chair.

The Inquiry will gather evidence and publish a report on the impact of COVID on social enterprises by the end of 2021.

Get Involved

If you would like to feed into the Inquiry please email liz.minns@socialenterprise.org.uk

The Chair

Charles Courtenay, 19th Earl of Devon is an English hereditary peer and barrister. He is a crossbench member of the House of Lords, having been elected at a by-election in 2018.

Evidence Sessions

10th June 2021

6th July 2021

9th September 2021

19th October 2021

4th November 2021

FAQs

What is the purpose of the Inquiry?

The Inquiry aims to understand how social enterprises experienced COVID, what lessons we can learn from the pandemic and the support offered to the sector and how Government can better work with social enterprises going forward.

How can I get involved?

We are keen to hear from anyone interested in social enterprise who wants to support the Inquiry.

If you would like to participate you can do so by participating in the “Call for Evidence” for the Inquiry and sharing any data that you have on how social enterprises fared throughout the pandemic, and how additional support might have been used.  Please email liz.minns@socialenterprise.org.uk for details. 

Do also join us and listen to the Evidence Sessions. Dates as shown above.

What are you defining as “impact” and “lessons learned”?

For the purposes of this Inquiry, “impact” means ‘effect’ of the pandemic, “lessons learned” means ‘what can we observe and look to improve on’.

The Inquiry will use SEUK’s definition which in turn is based on the internationally agreed definition of social enterprise promoted by the Social Enterprise World Forum:

  • The entity must have a primary social or environmental mission that is clearly expressed in its governing documents
  • It must reinvest the majority of its surplus back into the business or give it to another organisation to deliver its mission
  • It must be independently run in the interests of delivering its mission

For more information on what is a social enterprise, read What is it all about?.

Is the Inquiry independent from Social Enterprise UK?

Social Enterprise UK provides the secretariat for the APPG for Social Enterprise which is enabling the Inquiry to carry out its investigation and make its recommendations. The Inquiry does not have to subscribe to SEUK’s previously stated policy or reflect the views of Social Enterprise UK.

The views of the Inquiry do not necessarily reflect SEUK’s own position or policy.

SEUK will review the final report of the Inquiry and its recommendations, like any other organisation, and make its own judgement about next steps.

How will the Inquiry operate?

In broad terms there will be a “three-step” process.

Firstly, the Inquiry will seek the views and experiences of social enterprises. The aim will be to understand how social enterprises were impacted by the COVID pandemic and how additional support from central government might have resulted in better outcomes for the communities in which social enterprises operate.

Secondly, the Inquiry will seek views and experiences from organisations working with and representing the sector.

Thirdly, the Inquiry will hear from academics whose published work is of relevance.

Finally, the Inquiry will invite the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Civil Society Baroness Barran and Shadow Minister of State for the Voluntary Sector and Charities, Rachael Maskell MP to join us so we can hear from them.

During this whole process, the portal to submit information will remain open. There will also be intensive desk research and analysis of relevant available data.

What is the timeline of the Inquiry?

The Inquiry will take an evidence-based approach and give careful consideration to the challenges social enterprises faced throughout the pandemic.

It is currently estimated that a report will be ready by the end of 2021.