Over the past 10 years our team have worked alongside our members to make sure that the voice of social enterprise is heard by the UK's decision makers.
In this time, our influencing has helped:
- Establish a £100million fund, supporting hundreds of social enterprises operating in health and social care
- Establish the Right to Request programme which has led to the creation of more than forty social enterprises in primary care
- Create the Public Services Social Value Act 2012, which will ensure social value is considered in public spending decisions
- Reach thousands of local government employees, commissioners and officials, raising their awareness of social enterprise through our work the local government association, and through our own popular publications
- Develop an easier and fairer process for winning public sector contracts including simplifying the PQQ and a single free portal for all central government contract opportunities over £10,000
- Establish Big Society Capital – the first social investment whole sale bank with more than £600million to invest in the sector
- Ensure that more and more trusts and foundations, including the Big Lottery, support social enterprises as well as charities
- Create and shape more than 20 different support programmes for social enterprise including: Capacity Builders, Big Lottery Basis, The Contract Readiness fund, National Programme for Third Sector Commissioning, Commissioning Academy, Risk Capital Fund, Mutuals Support Programme and Futurebuilders England
- Put social enterprise on the GCSE business studies curriculum
- Develop the Future Jobs Fund and the youth contract – its replacement
- Develop the Right to Challenge, Right to Bid and Right to Build in the Localism Act
- Create the Community Interest Company Legal form – the first legal form in the world designed specifically for social enterprises
- Bring social enterprise to the forefront of all three major party’s policies at the last election
- Bring social enterprise to the forefront of all three major party's policies at the last election
- Social enterprise feature in the manifestos of all three main parties, including policy commitments across a wide range of government departments
- Manifesto asks turn into policy through the Government’s legislative programme, including in the Localism Act 2011, the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and the Open Public Services initiative
In the run up to the 2010 General Election, Social Enterprise UK produced a manifesto for the sector called 'No more business as usual'. This outlined social enterprises’ top policy recommendations on subjects including social enterprise models for public service delivery, supporting a green economy, new approaches to tackling unemployment, and stronger support for community enterprise.
Alongside this, we built support for social enterprise through asking parliamentary candidates and Peers to sign our Social Enterprise Charter (link to the charter and list of signatories). In total, 131 politicians pledged their support for the movement, including party leaders David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Caroline Lucas.