How we influence
Working closely with our members and partner organisations, Social Enterprise UK promote the benefits of social enterprise to the country's decision makers. By influencing politicians and the political parties who shape policy development, we aim to remove barriers to social enterprises, and create a business environment that encourages their growth and success.
We have built a reputation for the effectiveness of our political campaigns and were shortlisted for the PAN Public Affairs Awards In-House Team of the Year in 2010. We run an annual programme of political events and have a strong track record in influencing the policy agenda.
We work hard to influence politicians across the political spectrum, in order to ensure that social enterprise is understood and supported regardless of who is in power. This work includes attending party conferences, influencing election manifestos and hosting events in Parliament.
All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Enterprise
Social Enterprise UK runs the Secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Enterprise, a group of parliamentarians with an interest in social enterprise. It currently has a membership of more than 80 MPs and Peers from across the three main parties. The APPG holds regular events in Westminster which our members are invited to attend.
Thank you to our political partners
Our political partners work with us to represent the best interests of social enterprise in the political arena. They are part of our parliamentary team, and voice their on-the-ground experience to Government and Shadow Ministers, MPs and senior civil servants during the conference season and throughout the parliamentary year.
Become a political partner
We keep the costs low, and limit the numbers so social enterprises can have seats at the political table. Between us we represent the best interests of social enterprise in the political arena. If you want to raise your political profile, have a story to tell and want to get involved in the campaign for social enterprise, we’d love to hear from you.
In return, depending on the package you choose, you can expect:
- Individual support for your own political plans
- Managing your party conference presence and profile including face to face meetings with politicians
- Speaking opportunities
- A say in our policy development strategy
- Invitations to private social enterprise leaders’ discussions
- All Party Parliamentary Group profiling throughout the year
- Comprehensive briefings for all the events you attend
- You will be credited in all of our political materials and get bespoke advice on managing your political profile
Contact SEUK's Public Affairs Manager | email@example.com
One of the ways we influence Government is to respond to public consultations. In writing these responses, we always strive to represent the views of our members and are grateful to everyone for their contributions. We also produce briefings on policy developments for our members to help them understand how the latest initiatives will affect their business.
Read them in full on our briefings and consultation responses page
We carry out and commission research to help build the case for social enterprises and to help support our work shaping government policy and public opinion. We also help organisations conduct their own research when they are looking at developing their own social enterprise strategy.
THE SHADOW STATE REPORT
The Shadow State report is about the public sector outsourcing. It shows that large private companies and their shareholders are taking a lot of money out of the public realm, yet research shows there's very little support for shareholders profiting from public services among voters.
The Government can dramatically improve public services and the UK economy by buying services from providers that deliver maximum social value for every £1 spent by commissioners.
The report makes a number of recommendations, including that the Social Value Act be strengthened so that it includes statutory guidance, and the need for public bodies to account for social value in procurement.
The report is endorsed by politicians from both Labour and Conservative parties, and by Margaret Hodge, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee.
Read the press release
Read a blog by Celia Richardson, Director of External Affairs at SEUK about how the The Shadow State came to fruition
Our biggest piece of research is the State of Social Enterprise Survey. It’s the largest analysis of the social enterprise sector in the UK, and the largest of its kind in the world.
The latest results of this survey, published in the Fightback Britain report in August 2011, uncovered an emerging generation of businesses that are both starting up and operating in Britain’s most deprived communities. We found that 39% of all social enterprises are based and working in the most deprived communities in the UK, compared to 13% of all SMEs - evidence of good businesses transforming communities across the country.
The findings also show that across Britain, 1 in 7 of all social enterprises is a start-up, more than three times the proportion of start-ups in mainstream small businesses (14% compared to 4%). And social enterprises are twice as likely as mainstream businesses to have reported growth in the last year and are also more likely to be led by women, young people, and those from minority ethnic groups.
There are many ways the social enterprise sector can grow - one of which is social franchising. Our report looks at the various journeys social enterprises wanting to replicate can take. By exploring real-life examples of replication to date, it seeks to shed light on the potential obstacles and success factors, and the value each replication model can offer the broad range of social enterprises out there.
The research was based on in-depth interviews with 22 organisations. The research questions asked offer an insight into the organisations desire for growth and specific experiences of replication, including support and training received, any impact on their core social objectives, and the extent to which they have connected with other social enterprises following similar paths.
Find out more about social franchising by reading our Social Franchising Manual
We find one of the best ways of ensuring that social enterprises is a key part of government policy is by working in close partnership with the people designing it. By forming partnerships with different government departments, we're able to influence the different government policies which may affect social enterprise.
We have strategic partnerships with six government departments
- Department for Business Innovation and Skills
- Department for Education
- Cabinet office – Office for Civil Society
- Department of Health
- Department for Communities and Local Government
- Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Alongside this we sit on a number of Boards and Committees including
- The Cabinet Office’s Mutuals Taskforce
- The Employee engagement taskforce
- Big Society Trust – the body overseeing the delivery of Big Society Capital
- Small Business Forum – aiming to get more small businesses into the government’s supply chain
- Department of Health Strategic Partners Forum
- Department of Health Voluntary Sector Sounding Board
- Department of communities and local government partnership board
See our full list of partners