Social enterprises can be central to building inclusive and resilient communities, a key part of any local wealth-building programme, ensuring that public money creates the most and best value for your community. They tackle issues directly, whether it is taking on payday lenders and exploitative weekly payment stores, providing healthcare for excluded groups, or tackling youth employment – there is a social enterprise answer.

Social enterprises are businesses that plough their profits back into a social or environmental cause. They are not looking for a handout from public bodies; they want a level playing field within commissioning and procurement policies.

Membership

Local authorities can join SEUK as members. Membership for local authorities is £1500 per year. 

Joining will give you access to social enterprises, expertise, up to date research and like-minded organisations, to support you to make the most of what social enterprises can offer at place, for public bodies and their citizens.  

Networks

The Places Network: this brings together the 32 accredited Social Enterprise Places, areas that are hot-beds of social enterprise activity to share best practice, expertise and future planning. This is excellent to get a taster of the difference fostering a social enterprise eco-system can have locally.  

The Social Enterprise Support Network: members are organisations committed to supporting and growing the social enterprise sector, a mixture of local authorities, housing associations, businesses, charities and universities. It offers access to exclusive insights into the sector, best practice advice on social procurement and other forms of social enterprise sector engagement, as well as the cross-fertilisation of ideas across these different types of organisations.

The Social Value Act

The Social Value Act requires public bodies in England and in some parts of Wales to consider choosing providers based on the social value created in an area and not on cost alone.

The legislation asks that public bodies consider how the services they commission and procure might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the area.

Bespoke support 

SEUK was instrumental in helping get the Social Value Act passed and our team are experts in social value. 

As well as winning a Third Sector Excellence Award for our campaign on the Social Value Act, we have provided advice on the implementation of the Act to a wide range of public bodies including the Department for Health and Social Care and Oxford City Council.

Our team can provide tailored, practical support to you including:

  • Training sessions and days
  • Action-learning sets
  • Long-term implementation programmes
  • Expert speakers for your events

More broadly the SEUK team can also offer support to ensure that you are maximising taxpayer funds for your community, this includes: 

  • Policy taskforce to transform local services
  • Social value procurement and commissioning
  • Supporting local social enterprise
  • Building health and social care partnerships

Our proposal for local authorities explains how social enterprises can help to transform local services.

Front and Centre: putting social value at the Heart of Inclusive Growth and levelling up

Our latest research report calls for a rethink on how public bodies use social value, urging it to be placed front and centre of how local and central government works.

The report calls on public bodies to use social value more strategically, taking it out of the procurement silo where it is too often found and embedded across council’s operations, so it can have a real impact on supporting inclusive growth and addressing local inequity. 

Join Social Enterprise UK

Local authorities can now join SEUK as members and receive additional support. Membership for local authorities is £1500 per year.