An introduction to Social Enterprise

This guide from National Children's Bureau a (NCB) aims to introduce social enterprise to those who don’t have much previous knowledge or experience of it.

It is likely to be most useful to those whose primary interest is in providing services, whether in the voluntary or statutory sector, but will hopefully also be of some help to commissioners too.

There’s a noticeable buzz about social enterprise at the moment, with a growing number of respected brands and organisations now taking this form. Covering an impressively wide range, prominent examples include John Lewis, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurants, Divine Chocolate, the Eden Project and the Coin Street development in London.

In a public service context too there’s great interest in the potential of social enterprise to generate good outcomes and to transform provision and communities for the better. The government says it wants to encourage many more social enterprises to get involved in delivering public services.

Meanwhile, in the children and young people’s sector, government funding has been sharply reduced, many charities are finding it hard to raise voluntary income and there are worries about the sustainability of existing provision.

Put these factors together and it is not surprising that many in the sector are wondering whether social enterprise is a route that they should now explore as a more promising means of achieving positive change for children and young people.

This guide is exclusively availabe to members of the National Children's Bureau (NCB)
Find out more about becoming a member of NCB

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Participation Works is a partnership of…
British Youth CouncilChildren's Rights Alliance for EnglandKIDSNational Council for Voluntary Youth ServicesNational Youth AgencyNCB