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Social Enterprise Action Plan

Volume 453: debated on Thursday 16 November 2006

Today we are publishing the “Social Enterprise action plan: Scaling new heights”.

There are at least 55,000 social enterprises in the UK, generating more than £27 billion turnover and contributing more than £8 billion to GDP a year.

Since the launch of the Government social enterprise strategy in 2002, the Government have created a new legal form, the community interest company; improved business support and advice and the availability of finance; and supported the establishment of the social enterprise coalition to provide a unified voice for the sector to work with Government in raising the profile of social enterprise.

Building on this progress, the action plan is about creating the conditions for social enterprises to thrive as part of a next phase of support, and sets out the Government's role to take actions forward as part of their continuing commitment to social enterprise.

This action plan commits us to:

Fostering a culture of social enterprise, by building the evidence and raising awareness of the impact of social enterprise, and promoting successful role models to attract new entrants, customers, financiers and support providers.

Ensuring that the right information and advice are available to those running social enterprises so that they can gain access to appropriate support to maximise their business performance and, in turn, their social impact.

Enabling social enterprises to access appropriate finance, by tackling barriers that might prevent investors from supporting social enterprises, or social enterprises from seeking financial support.

Enabling social enterprises to work with Government, where they can offer public benefits in the markets they operate in, ensuring that policy makers and commissioners are aware of the role they can play.

Copies of the action plan have been placed in the Library for the reference of Members and are also available in the Vote Office.

The action plan is also available on the Cabinet Office website at