Social Enterprise Knowledge Centre

Our Social Enterprise Knowledge Centre seeks to be a world-class source of evidence and insights on social enterprise.

For more than a decade, our research has been the foundation of much of the evidence base for our sector – and our Social Enterprise Knowledge Centre brings together evidence we’ve compiled with wider data to make the UK’s most comprehensive source of sector information and insight.


The Knowledge Centre drives not only understanding and awareness but progress, as we use it to inform public policy and create a more supportive environment for social enterprise. Our research has informed the Social Value Act, the creation of Better Society Capital (formerly Big Society Capital) and Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, the development of public service mutuals and the recent Adebowale Commission on Social Investment.


The Knowledge Centre works in partnership with social investors, foundations, government, support organisations, academia and social enterprises to produce a wide range of evidence and insight. Read on to find out more about our work and publications.

The front cover of the state of social enterprise report 2023 called Mission Critical. It shows a brigade of chefs working for Beyond Food

Deep dive reports

Core to the Knowledge Centre is the production of in-depth research looking at the key issues affecting the social enterprise community.


This includes our State of Social Enterprise report, which is the most comprehensive survey of the sector in the UK. Published every two years, it highlights the major trends affecting social enterprises – analysing economic factors such as turnover, employment, start-up rates and finance together with social factors such as their missions, governance and leadership.

Cashflow Position graphic for Barometer

Social enterprise insights

As well as our deep dive reports, the Knowledge Centre hosts shorter insight papers, from snapshots on how social enterprises are performing over a particular period of time to thematic reports on specific issues affecting the sector.


This includes findings from our Social Enterprise Advisory Panel, which collects real-time data on all aspects of sector performance. Findings from the panel form the quarterly Social Enterprise Barometer reports, which are used to inform government and wider ecosystem support needs, as well as to respond to ad hoc calls for information.

Infographic combining key stats from our state of social enterprise report

Fact sheets

Want the key headlines on our vibrant social enterprise movement? Get all the top-line information you need using our social enterprise fact sheets.


We have a growing evidence base to demonstrate the impact of mission-led businesses in the UK and across the world – but our sector can still be overlooked or misunderstood, so these simple summary documents can help.


Want to get involved?


Join our Advisory Panel: make your voice heard, participate in our research.


Contact –


Sponsor the Knowledge Centre: raise your profile as a social enterprise supporter by aligning with our Knowledge Centre resource


Contact –


License Knowledge Centre data:  be the first to receive our intelligence and access wider anonymised datasets for your own use and analysis


Contact –


The Knowledge Centre is supported by:

knowledge centre sponsors matrix - April 2024