Public bodies


Public bodies, including Clinical Commissioning Groups, Probation Trusts, Local Housing Associations, Councils and Central Government are increasingly looking to social enterprises to deliver sustainable public services that create social value.

Social enterprises deliver essential, cost-effective public services, helping local government improve the quality of services, support community development and address social exclusion.


As public services are outsourced, stories and evidence continues to emerge of profit-motivated providers failing the public they should be serving. More about this can be read in The Shadow State and Out of the Shadows? reports.

But social enterprises are sometimes bucking the trend, picking up contracts and delivering social value in the face of fierce competition. There are encouraging examples where social value is being placed at the heart of our public services. Socially owned retirement villages, not-for-profit social enterprises winning contracts to deliver health and social care - sometimes even taking over where private providers have failed - and staff at probation trusts are considering social enterprise models as an alternative to pursuing a private profit motive. 


The public sector landscape is changing. Social value is fast becoming a key criteria for all procurement activity.

Communities Count Report

This report sets out how housing associations and local authorities are creating social value in the services they commission and provide. It identifies a number of practical steps that organisations can take in order to create more social value. Download the report.


The Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector has a significant role to play in the delivery of health and social care services. Just over a quarter of voluntary sector organisations and a third of all social enterprises are involved in the provision of adult health and/or social care. This accounts for more than £4 billion worth of public sector funding.

Yet there are fears from the VCSE sector that much of the progress that has been made in the last ten years when it comes to their role in delivering health will be overlooked in the restructures. We are working to ensure that this is not the case, and seek to work with the changing environment and the new evolving structures to make certain that the value and role of the VCSE sector is fully understood and able to fully participate in the health and social care economy.

Social Enterprise UK's Delivering Social Value in Health programme

This programme focuses on the value that a partnership approach can bring to the developing health and care systems. Over three years we are supporting twelve areas to embed social value in health and care procurement. This programme is designed to support local areas to deliver and commission for social value in health and care. Find out more.


Social Value Hub - We also have plenty of advice and information about the Social Value Act for social enterprises and public sector commissioners on our Social Value Hub, a free resource for anyone to access and contribute to.

Spin Outs - Thinking of spinning out of the NHS? There is information available in advice + support for teams interested in setting up a social enterprise. 


For a one-off annual membership fee we provide local authorities with training, information, support and discounts to events. For more information click here, telephone 020 3589 4958 or email


  • Social Value Act implementation: how to commission, procure and buy for social value
  • Localism Act implementation: supporting the Right to run, Right to provide and public sector spin-outs
  • Local economic strategy – how to stimulate and support social enterprise in your local area
  • Social innovation funds, challenges and competitions: design, launch and delivery support
  • Internal communications and change management to support social enterprise and innovation

Charlie Business DevelopmentFor more information contact Charlie Wigglesworth on 020 3589 4952 or