On the Horizon: Social Enterprises, by Mandy Varley

Mandy VarleyI recently had the opportunity to attend a Q&A Tea Time Social with ClearlySo, an organisation that answers the practical needs of social businesses and enterprises. According to NCVO, social enterprises are organisations that trade with a social purpose. So essentially they are for-profit businesses with social aims. Before attending the event I’d assumed this was a relatively new concept but it turns out famous examples like The Co-operative and even Barcelona Football Club have been in operation for a good while already.

So why then is Compact Voice blogging about social enterprises? With lots of talk of Big Society and partnership working social enterprises are relevant in the Compact conversation as the agreement applies to them as well. While they are not able to fundraise like charities they can receive funding from business angels and government contracts. As organisations that seem to straddle the boundaries between government, the voluntary and community sector and the for-profit sector, social enterprises are supported by the Compact in every partnership they form.
According to ClearlySo’s CEO Rodney Scwartz, the social enterprise sector is growing and is on the verge of very rapid growth over the next three to five years. With localism agendas, social enterprises represent another sustainable option to deliver the necessary services to enhance our communities. With for-profit businesses keen to invest money and pro-bono services into this growing sector and more funding available than social enterprises the potential for partnerships between social enterprises, voluntary and community sector organisations and government and local authorities is virtually unlimited.
So if you are a social enterprise or an organisation that would like to develop stronger working relationships with them, please join us at our upcoming events where we will bring together delegates from all the sectors to have a practical discussion on what is happening in each respective sector and how different types of organisations can work together to deliver the bottom line: stronger communities through better partnership working.

Visit our events page for more information or to register now.
We hope to see you there!

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