Social Enterprise vital to post Covid-19 recovery

A new report offers fresh research on the positive impact of social enterprise interventions in developing skills and creating employment opportunities, especially within disadvantaged areas.

Commissioned by the Enterprise Research Centre in partnership with Liverpool-based The Women’s Organisation, the role of social enterprise in developing skills and creating employment opportunities in the UK has been launched.

Published as the first in a series of five State of The Art (SOTA) Reviews, the report outlines how social enterprises can play a pivotal role in the post-COVID-19 recovery through improved funding mechanisms and updated policy.

Within the review, author Prof Richard Hazenberg, explores the relationship between social enterprises and education, training and employment to identify the clear benefits of the involvement in building community cohesion, and urban regeneration.

Each of the five reviews tackle individual key themes in relation to social enterprise, including employment and skills opportunities, diversity and inclusion, and environmental sustainability.

The Women’s Organisation chief executive, Maggie O’Carroll, said: “Having a robust evidence base is critical to effective policy and investments decisions.

“We are very pleased to be working with the Enterprise Research Centre and to be able to utilise its expertise. These reviews provide important insights on how the social economy is at the forefront of the UK’s economic and social recovery.”

One of the primary methods in which social enterprises support upskilling and employment creation is by focusing on the creation of social value, particularly in disadvantaged areas. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are already having a disproportionate effect on socially excluded populations.

In the UK it is estimated there are 100,000 social enterprises accounting for more than £60bn of UK GDP and employing 1.44 million people. Further, it has been estimated that if the economy was dominated by social enterprises rather than shareholder dominated businesses, four million more people would be being paid the real living wage and £118bn of profits per annum would be reinvested back into society.

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