By David Bicknell
Mutuals and social enterprises are likely to be a strong area of interest in this year’s party conference season, which gets underway for the main parties with the Liberal Democrats in Birmingham on September 17th.
As the Guardian reports in this piece looking forward to the party conferences through a social enterprise lens, much of the focus will be on the role that social enterprise can play in transforming public services and stimulating economic recovery.
It makes the point that “new research by Social Enterprise UK (formerly the Social Enterprise Coalition) has revealed a “start up explosion”, with 39% of social enterprises based and working in Britain’s most deprived areas. This compares to 13% of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
“The research also found that the UK’s 62,000 social enterprises are outstripping business in terms of growth – 58% of social enterprises grew last year compared to 28% of SMEs.”
The optimism is to some extent offset by pessimism that the current commissioning process will favour large-scale private sector providers over mutuals and social enterprises.
Here are links to the main parties conferences: