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Non-profit Making Organisations

Volume 506: debated on Wednesday 24 February 2010

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what criteria the Office of the Third Sector uses to evaluate the performance of (a) social enterprise networks and (b) regional development agencies against their objectives to develop social enterprise. (318161)

The Office of the Third Sector (OTS) does not evaluate the performance of the social enterprise networks. OTS does, however, work closely with the regional social enterprise networks and the regional development agencies (RDAs), as well as the national social enterprise representative body, the Social Enterprise Coalition, of which the regional networks are members. OTS has recently committed to host and chair a regular working group of the regional social enterprise networks and the RDAs which will aim to share information and best practice on supporting social enterprise.

The OTS is investing £5.9 million over four years from 2007-08, to improve social enterprise business support in each of the nine English regions. In October 2008, a contractor was appointed to undertake a national evaluation of the project. A baseline report on the early stages of the programme is available on the OTS website where further reports leading up to the final report due in 2011 will also be published:

The Cabinet Office is also funding the £6 million Social Enterprise Programme being delivered by Capacitybuilders, which aims to increase collaboration and knowledge sharing between social enterprise infrastructure and support services across the third sector.