The steady drop in unemployment is a good news story for the UK. Not only does our economy thrive when more people are earning a living, but not being in work impacts peoples’ income, health and happiness. Yet not everyone with the desire to work is able to gain appropriate, meaningful employment.

This is particularly the case for people with complex lives or additional support needs including disabled people, refugees, care leavers, ex-offenders, veterans, single parents and people who are homeless, who face discrimination and systemic barriers to employment.

Social entrepreneurs have bold solutions

A growing movement of social entrepreneurs are responding to these challenges in innovative ways, including by providing quality supportive jobs, training opportunities, or challenging different sectors to transform.


Fattou Gassama's lived experience of the challenges women can face in the workplace after they become pregnant led her to create Holistic Support. The social enterprise provides workshops, advice and support to help women get back into work or start a business that makes them fulfilled.

Read more about Fattou Gassama's journey here


We have supported over 900 social entrepreneurs tackling access to employment


In 2017/18 the social entrepreneurs we supported created over 1,000 jobs and volunteering opportunities

68 awards

In 2017/18 we made 68 awards to individuals addressing issues relating to employment

Transforming the job market

Social entrepreneurs struggle to get access to the right kind of finance and find sustainable revenue streams to scale up their social venture. Likewise, finding routes in to sell to the public sector is a significant challenge due to commissioning structures and commissioners’ low appetite for risk. A general lack of awareness around social entrepreneurship compounds these challenges.

Social entrepreneurs need to be seen as a legitimate and effective way of providing access to employment for those distant from the labour market.

Between 2017-2020 we will be addressing the challenges in four key ways:

What our social entrepreneurs say

"Working with Rosie [founder of Miss Macaroon] has changed my life, I’ve got a job, education and skills that I never had before. It’s helped my confidence, as in having someone believe in you and give you that chance"

Miss Macaroon employee

"I lost everything, not only emotionally, I lost my family. There’s one point that you lose cannot imagine how Goodwill Solutions has given me a big boost and impact on starting a new beginning, a new life for me"

Goodwill Solutions CIC employee

"Once you get guys into a job and find their strengths - everyone has them - you see a blossoming that is hard to describe"

Chris Rawlins - Founder of SoFab Sports

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