The 2018 Budget: 11 key Announcements from 11 Downing St for Social Entrepreneurs.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, aka ‘Spreadsheet Phil’, spent 74 minutes revealing his 2018 Budget, so in case you don’t want to watch a full replay, here are our 11 key announcements from 11 Downing St for social entrepreneurs.

The first six announcements here are of general interest to many social entrepreneurs, depending on the size and registered status of your venture:

  1. The British Business Bank’s Start-Up Loans programme will be extended to 2021 to continue providing loans and mentoring to entrepreneurs.
  2. Up to 10 local areas will be awarded funding to set up University Enterprise Zones that promote collaboration between universities and businesses, support start-ups and scale-ups, and disseminate management skills.
  3. £20million will be invested in 2019/20 to support local peer-to-peer networks focused on business improvement so thousands of business leaders can share expertise on leadership, business development and technology adoption.
  4. A Small Business Leadership Programme will be created, training 2,000 people in 2019/20 and training 10,000 people per year by 2025.
  5. For social ventures with charitable status, the upper limit for trading without incurring tax liability will increase from £5,000 to £8,000 where turnover is under £20,000, and from £50,000 to £80,000 where turnover exceeds £200,000.
  6. The Treasury will continue to consider setting up a new long-term asset fund, and several pension providers will work with the British Business Bank to explore options for pooled investment in patient capital.

There were also some important announcements for social entrepreneurs working in particular fields. For example, for social entrepreneurs:

  1. Providing adult social care: £240m in additional funding has been announced for adult social care in 2018/19 and again in 2019/20 to help local councils provide greater support for older people with care needs, but a Spending Review in a year’s time will make longer-term decisions on funding. Proposals will come out ‘shortly’ for fairer, more sustainable adult social care.
  2. Supporting people on benefits: several announcements have been made to try and smooth the introduction of Universal Credit. For instance, the Work Allowance will be increased by £1,000 from April 2019.
  3. Operating on the high street: Business rates will be cut by a third for up to 90% of retail properties, and selected local authorities will trial a brokerage service to connect community groups to empty shops.
  4. Supporting young people to avoid violence: The £200 million Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) is confirmed. The YEF will fund activities for 10 to 14 year olds in England and Wales over at least 10 years, specifically working with those most at risk of youth violence to steer them away from becoming serious offenders.
  5. Working to reduce food waste: The Government will provide £15 million to charities and others to distribute surplus food that is needlessly wasted every year.

All of the above comes with a caveat: things may change again as soon as this spring. A Brexit Budget in early 2019 will be considered if no deal is reached with the EU, although the Chancellor didn’t suggest that any of the announcements summarised would be reversed. Of greater significance, perhaps, will be the Comprehensive Spending Review, expected within the next 12 months, so keep on guard for any Halloween horrors until then. Rest-assured, the Policy team at UnLtd will keep you alerted and up-to-date.

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Author Info


Laura KekutiSenior Policy Officer

I have been working for UnLtd since November 2016. As a Policy Officer I am working with the government and other decision makers to create a more enabling environment for social entrepreneurs to start up and thrive. Previously I gained experience in charity and social entrepreneurship consulting in Hungary. I have a BA in International Relations and a MSc in Management and have completed the Charityworks graduate scheme while working at London's Air Ambulance.

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