“On assuming power last year Theresa May laid out an ambitious vision of an ‘economy that works for everyone’ and ‘a shared society’ and as such we had high hopes for today’s Conservative Party manifesto. We have been left disappointed. Whilst we welcome announcements on corporate governance, the promise of intervention where there is market failure, tax transparency, pro-SME measures, procurement and on the freedom to mutualise in the public sector there is no mention of social enterprise, social investment, cooperatives or the social economy anywhere in the manifesto. What could have been an acknowledgement of the transformative role the social economy can play in the creation of a truly inclusive economy is instead a rather functional document which will do little to cheer the hearts of most social enterprise leaders.”

– James Butler Public Affairs Manager, Social Enterprise UK 

Specific areas of interest to social enterprise


“We know public services are dependent upon the public servants who run them, which is why we will establish in law the freedom for employees to mutualise, where appropriate, within the public sector.”


Future Britain funds – “People have long talked about the need to create UK sovereign wealth funds. We will now make this a central part of our long-term plan for Britain. We will create a number of such funds, known as Future Britain funds, which will hold in trust the investments of the British people, backing British infrastructure and the British economy.”

“We will make each partnership and combined authority responsible for co-ordinating their own local industrial strategy in alignment with our national industrial strategy, bringing together local businesses, political and public sector leaders to drive growth and economic regeneration. We will wherever possible deliver growth funding through these organisations. We will give local enterprise partnerships greater weight by backing them in law.”


“Boards should take account of the interests not just of shareholders but employees, suppliers and the wider community. To ensure employees’ interests are represented at board level, we will change the law to ensure that listed companies will be required either to nominate a director from the workforce, create a formal employee advisory council or assign specific responsibility for employee representation to a designated non-executive director.”

“We will consider introducing a new criminal offence for company directors who deliberately or recklessly put at risk the ability of a pension scheme to meet its obligations”


“We will therefore examine ways in which the regulation of utilities and transport infrastructure can be improved to deliver a better deal for customers and sharper incentives for investment efficiency”

“community minibuses for rural areas poorly served by public transport”

“we will maintain our position as a global leader in offshore wind and support the development of wind projects in the remote islands of Scotland, where they will directly benefit local communities.”


“We also recognise that government can improve the general business environment for SMEs, so we will use our buying power to ensure that big contractors comply with the Prompt Payment Code both on government contracts and in their work with others. If they do not do so, they will lose the right to bid for government contracts.”

“We will allow large firms to pass levy funds to small firms in their supply chain, and work with the business community to develop a new programme to allow larger firms to place apprentices in their supply chains.”


“We will legislate for tougher regulation of tax advisory firms. We will take a more proactive approach to transparency and misuse of trusts.”

“So for businesses employing former wards of the care system, someone with a disability, those with chronic mental health problems, those who have committed a crime but who have repaid their debt to society, and those who have been unemployed for over a year, we will offer a holiday on their employers’ National Insurance Contributions for a full year.”

“We will require companies with more than 250 employees to publish more data on the pay gap between men and women.”


“We will make sure our councils get the help they need to deal with people as they arrive, and establish schemes to help individuals, charities, faith groups, churches and businesses to provide housing and other support for refugees”


“We will also provide targeted support for young people between the ages of 18 and 24 so that everyone, no matter what their start in life, is given the very best chance of getting into work.”

“It is why we want to see universities make their full contribution to their local community and economy, sponsoring local schools and being creative about how they can open up opportunities for local people, especially those from ordinary working backgrounds.”

“We will get 1 million more people with disabilities into employment over the next ten years.”

 You can read the full Conservative Party Manifesto ‘Forward Together’ here.

SEUK’s political work is supported by The Co-operative Energy, CAN, Fusion 21, and First Ark Group: