How mainstream enterprise support organisations are supporting social entrepreneurs

Over one in four people starting their own business is motivated by a social purpose or cause, according to new findings from the National Enterprise Network in partnership with UnLtd.

Research revealed in a new spotlight paper released today shows that 27% of people approaching enterprise organisations such as Wenta for support are starting up a business with a social or community purpose.

The findings were released earlier today when Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise Anna Soubry MP met with a group of social entrepreneurs and enterprise organisations, at Broxtowe Town Hall in her constituency, to hear about their experiences.

The research shows that social entrepreneurs are becoming increasingly mainstream, and highlights the need for enterprise organisations to make sure relevant support is available to entrepreneurs motivated by social objectives. Specialist support for social entrepreneurs could include information on legal forms, access to social finance, and using volunteers. While mainstream enterprise organisations are supporting social entrepreneurs, a significant proportion of business people seeking support (9%) said they were not able to access the support they needed to develop and sustain social objectives within their businesses.

,“There’s a swell of people stepping up to tackle some of society’s greatest problems with entrepreneurial solutions – but they need the right support to start well and thrive. We want enterprise organisations to ensure social entrepreneurs get off to the best start, and this research shows that even more can be done to ensure that potential social entrepreneurs can access the support they need.”

Cliff Prior, CEO of UnLtd,

UnLtd believes the Government also has a role to ensure social entrepreneurs are signposted to the right support. The 2015 Conservative Party manifesto included a pledge to

Give more people the power and support to start their own social enterprise.

Following on from the roundtable event with our young entrepreneurs earlier today, Minister for Small Business Anna Soubry MP discussed the newly released findings, commenting, “The UK is ranked first for policies that support social investment and I am pleased see research published today reinforcing this. I was delighted to meet local social entrepreneurs and interested to hear this is now reflected in the way people approach business”.


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