Tag Archives: Liberal Democrats

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

Prioritise co-operatives and mutuals to redistribute and create work, says Lib Dems’ Simon Hughes

In  a piece in the Observer yesterday, Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes called for co-operatives and mutual businesses and social enterprise to be prioritised as part of a redistribution and creation of work.

In the wake of  last week’s riots, he argued, “A responsible economy is necessary for a responsible society. Building local, regional and national economies which provide the opportunity for all to participate in for fair reward will build much stronger communities. This will counter the appeal of the gangs and the get-rich-quick merchants. Other people and activity must now capture the energies and abilities of a generation that has greater potential than any we have had before.”

A Catalyst for Change? Or a Roadblock to it?

By David Bicknell

A couple of recent pieces caught my eye, both of them from the Daily Telegraph. One discussed the state of the Coalition and whether, instead of being a catalyst for reform and change, the Liberal Democrats become the roadblock to it,  and a surprisingly positive piece – for the Telegraph – about David Cameron by Peter Oborne.