Tag Archives: Conservative

Making the right noises about the social economy

By David Bicknell

Andrew Tyrie’s comments about the Big Society perhaps haven’t been overwhelmingly helpful when it comes to promoting  the growing role of mutuals and co-operatives. Hopefully when David Cameron gives his keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester on Wednesday, he’ll have some more  positive things to say about open public services, and specifically something about the well-flagged funding and procurement issues.

These issues have been well summed up in two recent blogs I came across by Craig Dearden-Phillips, and by Matthew Taylor from the RSA. They’re worth a read.

Economic boost of nurturing mutuals and social enterprises a key focus of party conference season

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:

Lib Dems