Current Social Enterprise Landscape

Sunderland is recognised for its traditional industrial heritage. But the coalmines and shipyards have gone.  The number of jobs lost has been replaced and even exceeded. Recent data (2012) shows that 94,500 people are now employed in the city's private sector compared to 82,000 in 2010. Nevertheless, the local economy remains reliant on a narrow range of industries. The city has successfully moved from ships and coal to cars and contact centres, but it still doesn’t have the variety of industries and career opportunities to ensure a resilient vibrant economy.

In part, this narrow industrial base persists because Sunderland has been more successful in attracting international companies than in helping indigenous businesses to grow, as demonstrated by the scarcity of business start-ups.  Latest data shows that the business birth rate remains lower in Sunderland than regionally and nationally.  Whilst the business stock and business start-up rates are relatively low in comparison to national averages, recent evidence has also indicated a relatively large proportion of entrepreneurial business champions, and businesses with potential to create growth through their export connections.

Key Objectives

  1. To grow the number, size and scale of Social Enterprises and mutuals within City of Sunderland’s economy
  2. Tailor social enterprise business support for pre-start, start-up and growing mutuals and social enterprises within City of Sunderland.
  3. Design and implement social accounting and SROI in order to measure the impact of the social enterprise sector makes to the City of Sunderland’s economy.
  4. In partnership, to develop social enterprise solutions and scale-up social business models whilst addressing civic challenges facing the City of Sunderland.

Stakeholder Group in Sunderland

  • Sustainable Enterprise Strategies (SES)
  • University of Sunderland
  • Sunderland Home Care Associates
  • SES Social Enterprise Network
  • North East Business Innovation Centre
  • City of Sunderland Collage
  • Federation of Small Businesses
  • Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID)
  • Sunderland City Council