About Social Enterprise

Here is a definition from the Department of Trade and Industry

“a social enterprise is a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.”

Social enterprise is a term for a whole list of different types of organisations which have some core things in common:
Woman reading business papers, with wheelchair to side

* they do not have shareholders nor distribute their profits
* they trade or sell things in some way
* they are run for a social purpose (i.e. make a positive social difference) and use a business model to achieve those aims
* they aim to be financially sustainable.

So, if you want to run a business which wants to make a difference socially or environmentally, a social enterprise may well give you the advantages you need:

* it can help secure financial sustainability for groups in the voluntary and community sectors
* it will allow you to maximise income generation opportunities, such as earned income
* you will be your own bosses and have greater decision-making flexibility compared to charities with large boards of Trustees
* it can help you deliver local or national services under community control.

We feel that social enterprise offers very specific advantages for us as disabled people, either setting ourselves up in business or looking to set up or develop sustainable services around disability issues. The links in the menu have more information about social enterprises and their possible advantages. Have a look, and then if you have any queries, please do get in touch.