So, what is Social Enterprise anyway?
Ever wondered what a social enterprise is? Well… if you have ever eaten a Divine chocolate bar or eaten at a Jamie Oliver Fifteen restaurant you have experienced a community interest company (CIC) or a social enterprise.
There are an estimated 70,000 social enterprises in the UK contributing to 18.5 billion to the UK economy (based on 2012 small business survey 2013) but what are they and what do they do?
Social enterprises are businesses which exist for the greater good: to tackle social problems, benefit people’s lives & communities or the environment. They do this by employing those who may otherwise not have those opportunities or by providing much needed services in the community.
A great local example is that of a brand new restaurant in Middlesbrough founded by Andy Preston called ‘The Fork in the Road’. This social enterprise restaurant will employ ex-offenders, ex-addicts and the long term unemployed as chefs and waiting staff. Their partner project ‘the Spoon’ a community cafe, will employ ex addicts who are not yet ready for working in an environment with alcohol. The aim of the initiative is to help those in need get back into work.
Social enterprises are not charities. They are profit making organisations but unlike businesses re-invest all of their profits back into the company to do more good.
So why start a social enterprise now?
- There is plenty of funding from the government to hep you start.
- There are experts and mentors out there to help you set up.
- You can add an extra dimension to your company by offering the feel good factor to your customers who will be buying from you and helping a good cause.
Come to one of our taster sessions to find out