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Social Enterprise: An Engine For Social Change? The Migrant Community


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This presentation discusses the role of social enterprise in working with migrant groups either as a way of supporting them directly or as a way of establishing business opportunities and self-help.

It was taken from a presentation by Alessio D’Angelo from Middlesex University who comments on this and place it in the perspective of not only the social enterprise movement itself but also other initiatives relating to employment, social value and overall policy on equality.

Alessio D’Angelo is a Lecturer in Social Sciences at Middlesex University. He has been working for several years as a freelance researcher and consultant for various Third Sector organisations and in 2009 was appointed Business and Community Interaction (BCI) ‘Champion’ for the Department of Social Sciences (Middlesex University), promoting and coordinating a number of activities in partnership with private and Third Sector organisations, including events, evaluations, consultancies, knowledge transfer and capacity building. He is a member of the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) and the TSRC Social Enterprise Research Capacity Building Cluster.

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Social Enterprise: An Engine For Social Change? The Migrant Community

  1. 1. Social Enterprise and the BME community sectorAlessio D‟Angelo, Social Policy Research Centre ( Social Enterprise and Equality, 24 May 2012
  2. 2. IntroductionIntroduction• This presentation builds on a number of projects and initiatives undertaken within the Social Policy Research Centre (BCI stream) and the TSRC Social Enterprise Research Capacity Building Cluster.• It aims to raise some discussion points about: • the changing migrant and BME sector in Britain; • the role of the „Social Enterprise‟ model.• It focuses on BME Supplementary Education Services as a case study, in particular: • Day-Mer Turkish and Kurdish Community Centre • Other London-based organisations (Paiwand, Haringey Chinese Association, etc.)
  3. 3. Part 1 - Migrant and BME community organisations in the UKSocial Enterprise and the BME community sector
  4. 4. BME organisationsMigrant and Ethnic Organisations• Migrant and Ethnic organisations are important means of support and integration, particularly for newly arrived and socially excluded migrants (Zetter et al., 2000; Schrover and Vermeulen, 2005)• As well as providing direct support with the provision of tailored services, they act as advocates, increase civic engagement and reduce social isolation (Rex 1987)• Migrant and BME organisations are not inherently „positive‟ in their effects. • They can reinforce social division and even segregation, and create a condition of dependency to access services and exercise rights. (Taylor, 2003; Crow, 2005) • With their ambition to represent „the Community‟ they tend to be the channel through which ethnic-specific advocacy is carried out and where internal and external resources are concentrated (D‟Angelo 2008).
  5. 5. BME organisationsThe „antecedents‟ of migrant and BME organisations• Migrant organisations have been used as a measure of: • group-level social capital (Jacobs & Tillie, 2004) • “collectively expressed and collectively ascribed identity” (Schrover and Vermeulen, 2005)•However, factors in their development also include: • Migrants‟ resources and migration pattern (Breton 1964) • Outside discrimination (Portes & Sensenbrenner 1993) • Lack of language and knowledge of the system • Opportunity structure (Schrover and Vermeulen, 2005)
  6. 6. BME organisationsMigrant Organisations in the UK• Traditionally, migrant and BME (Black Minority Ethnic) organisations are particularly well established as a sector in the UK.• A 2001 study (Mc Leod et al.) reported over 5,500 in England and Wales• This is due to a number of historical reasons as well as national and local opportunity structures (Afridi & Warmington 2009): • Multiculturalism • Promotion and support for community sector• Some of this has changed significantly in the last few years…
  7. 7. BME organisationsBME community organisations in the UK:an „opportunity structure‟ analysis …• 1990s-2000s - Marketisation of the „Third Sector‟ • 2002 - DTI‟s Social Enterprise Strategy • 2003 - The „Futurebuilders Fund‟: new trend towards commissioning• 2001/2005 - From Multiculturalism to the „Social Cohesion‟ agenda • 2007 - Commission on Integration and Social Cohesion: “Single Group Funding‟ should be the exception rather than the rule” • 2010 – Equality Act • 2010 – Big Society• 2009 - The UK enters recession. (Impact is particularly severe on migrant and BME population) • 2010 – Spending review… „perfect storm‟ or long term policy strategy?
  8. 8. Crisis of ‘Social Cohesion’ Marketisation Multiculturalism of Third Sector ‘Equality Act’ ‘single group’ (BME) Large, mainstream orgs Commissioning & orgs are discouraged * are favoured Social Enterprise Equality Impact Reduced grassroots Fewer Infrastructure Assessment (?) * and core funding and umbrella orgs Negative impact on BME community organisations Increased unmet needs Reduced funding Increased deprivation (No right to provision) Philanthropy overall and inequality Spending Review Recession Right to provide Big Society etc. * Cuts in public ‘Neighbourhood’ Services and welfare approach * Alessio D’Angelo 2012 (* = (Racial) Equality off the agenda?
  9. 9. BME organisationsThe impact on BME community organisations• „Big Squeeze Report‟ (LVSC, July 2012) • Over 50% of London VCOs have had to close services in the last year• „Living in the Margins‟ report (Afya Trust, March 2012) • 20% of LAs did not carry out equality impact assessment before reviewing their budgets for voluntary and community sector • BME organisations disproportionately affected by cuts• Changing LA‟s vision for the (BME) voluntary sector (D‟Angelo 2010; forthcoming) • Most London LAs moving towards commissioning • Sustainability to be achieved through “consolidation rather than expansion” • BME organisations encouraged to merge, go mainstream or become marginal • Institutional racism towards BME organisations?
  10. 10. Part 2 - BME Social EnterprisesSocial Enterprise and the BME community sector
  11. 11. BME social enterprisesDefining BME social enterprise• The terms Social Enterprise‟ is contested (Peattie & Morely 2008; Lyon & Sepulveda 2009)• There is no legal definition or status. (Though there is confusion about this in the BME sector)• What is a „BME Social Enterprise‟? • The ownership/management is BME? • Provides „ethnically‟ branded services? (e.g. Ethnic cafes) • Provides services to (a specific) BME population? BME BME BME businesses Social Third Sector Enterprises
  12. 12. BME social enterprisesSocial Enterprise and Ethnic Minorities• Attempts to „map the sector‟ proved extremely difficult (Olmec 2007; Sepulveda et al. 2010)• Recent research estimates 30% of S.E. are owned by „Non-White-British‟ (GLA 2007)• Majority of Social Enterprise „Start-up‟ are BME (Harding & Harding 2008)• Most BME social enterprises are small or micro (Olmec 2011)• Some successful areas include: Housing Associations, Catering, Financial services• But most Social Enterprises take place within charitable, community based activities (including health and social care, welfare and legal advice, language support, education services and training).• The latter are in the main much less successful from a „business‟ perspective. For some examples of case studies: „Inspiring Change‟ (Olmec 2011d)
  13. 13. BME social enterprisesSocial Enterprise and Ethnic Minorities• Challenges to the development of BME Social Enterprises: • Economy of scale disadvantage • Lack of (BME) specific support • Difficult balance between social objectives and business sustainability • Scepticism in the traditional BME community sector (D‟Angelo et al. 2010). • Perception of S.E. as a „White British‟ affair (Sepulveda et al. 2010) • Enthusiasm often not matched by knowledge and skills• Some organisations resort to the „social enterprise‟ idea because they feel pushed towards it or as the last opportunity to generate income.
  14. 14. Part 3 - Case study: BME Education Services in LondonMain source: „BME children in London: educational needs and the Role of communityorganisations - An evaluation of Day-Mer‟s education services‟ (D‟Angelo et al. 2011)Social Enterprise and the BME community sector
  15. 15. Case studyBME pupils in UK schools• School population in London is characterized by an increasing diversity (BME pupils 2011: England 24% ; London 66%).• BME/EAL pupils have significant levels of underachievement, especially Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Black Caribbean, Somali and Turkish-speaking• Even more importantly, they often face social exclusion and discrimination.• Recent policy trends: • Focus on „parents‟ choice‟ and schools‟ competition • Independence and reduced LEA control (Free Schools and Academies) • Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant (EMAG) closed • Introduction of Pupil‟s Premium
  16. 16. Case studyBME supplementary education• BME community organisations have been playing a key role delivering „complementary education services‟ (e.g. supplementary classes, mother-tongue classes, tutorage, parental engagement).• As well as enhancing academic achievement, they promote identity, social development and community capital (Warren et al. 2011, Lytra & Martin 2010)• However, successful partnerships with schools are still limited: • Tokenistic vision of participation and top-down policy (Dickson et al 2004) • Supplementary services perceived as „reminders of schools failure‟ (D‟Angelo 2011) • Assimilationist views and racist assumptions (Sneddon 2011)
  17. 17. Case studyDay-Mer educational services• Day-Mer is a Turkish and Kurdish community organisation in Hackney.• They provide a range of services – including education projects: • Educational Underachievement (Co-educators Project) - funded by the Learning Trust (2002-2010) • Parental Involvement Project - commissioned by Learning Trust (2007-2011) • Transition Services – funded by Hackney CVS (until May 2011) • Supplementary Schools (since 2004)Results of 2011 evaluation (D‟Angelo et al.): • Overwhelmingly positive feedback amongst parents, teachers and funders • Enhanced academic achievement and social development of children as well as parental engagement • One of the reasons of Day-Mer‟s success lies in its holistic approach to education and its ability to understand community issues
  18. 18. Case studyDay-Mer: funding and the policy agenda•The „Learning Trust‟ / Hackney Council funding of Day-Mer was part of a broader one-off programme which involved 12 community organisations. • It aimed to build their capacity, make them more „professional‟ and enable them to get commissioned work.(=i.e. to operate as social enterprises) • It placed emphasis on providing „evidence‟ (though pursued in limited fashion)• This approach is based on trust on the community sector and pragmatism (lack of funding, changing policy)• But it is also revealing of a broader policy model where communities (rather than schools or local authorities) have the responsibility of service provision.• The focus on „evidence‟ places the onus on organisations and overlooks policy, funding and cultural issues in the education sector.
  19. 19. Case studyDay-Mer: Sustainability and the ways forward• Despite widespread appreciation – none of the schools has re-commissioned similar services (nor put in place alternative provision).•On the other hand, Day-Mer secured additional grant funding (from the Big-Lottery), after establishing a consortium with other BME organisations.• Some services – such as supplementary classes - are now partially funded by parents (who pay a nominal amount).• Increase reliance on volunteers (including former paid staff).
  20. 20. Case studyInsights from other case studies• Many organisations rely on fees paid by parents (e.g. Haringey Chinese, OYA – Organisation of Young Africans)• Public funding is shrinking; (independent) schools unwilling to pay for services• Some partnerships with schools are ending because not „good value for money‟ (e.g. Paiwand used to get free use of space in exchange for free tutors)• Some are considering (or have been encouraged) to pursue a more „enterprise‟ oriented model – however there is no evidence of a sustainable alternative to grants funding• Result: dedicated education services only for those communities which can afford it (i.e. „education support: from public service to commodity‟ ?)
  21. 21. ConclusionSocial Enterprise and the BME community sector
  22. 22. ConclusionsConclusions / discussion points• Many emerging BME social enterprises are still largely reliant on grants (or donations)• BME organisations are encouraged (pushed?) to operate as enterprises – often inmarkets which are very competitive, closed to newcomers, and are not actual markets.• At the time of reduced funding and state‟s rolling back, is the social enterprise idea being used to shift responsibility (and blame) to BME communities?• Is the social enterprise model enforcing top-down agendas and favouring large, main- stream organisations against local BME ones?• Is the social enterprise model just for more those (ethnic) communities which are rich in economic, social, cultural and political capital?• Can social enterprise still represent a means for the development and labour marker inclusion of socio-economically excluded BME communities ? (cfr. WISE)
  23. 23. Key References• Afiya Trust (2012), Living in the Margins. The impact of local government social care budgetcuts on BME communities.• D‟Angelo (2008), Kurdish Community Organisations in London: a Social Network Analysis,Middlesex University• D‟Angelo et al. (2010), Migrant and minority community organisations: funding sustainabilityand ways forward, Middlesex University•D‟Angelo et al. (2011), BME Children in London: educational needs and the role of communityorganisations , Middlesex University• Jacobs, D. & Tillie, J. (2004). Social capital and political integration of migrants. Journal ofEthnic and Migration Studies, 30(3), 419–427.• Jasiewicz (2011), Inspiring Change. Minority led social enterprise case study report, Olmec• LVSC (20011), The Big Squeeze: the Squeeze tightens, London Voluntary Sector Council• Lytra, V. & Martin, P. (eds.) (2010). Sites of multilingualism: complementary schools in Britainto-day. Trentham Books.
  24. 24. Key References• McLeod, M., Owen, D. & Khamis, C. (2001). Black and minority ethnic voluntary andcommunity organisations: Their role and future development in England and Wales. PolicyStudies Institute.• McKay et al (2011), The marketisation of charities in England and Wales, TSRC• Mohan (2011), Mapping the Big Society: perspective from the TSRC, TSRC• Olmec (2007), Mapping London‟s Minority Ethnic Social Enterprises, Olmec• Schrover, M. & Vermeulen, F. (2005). Immigrant Organisations. Journal of Ethnic andMigration Studies, 31(5), 823. doi: 10.1080/13691830500177792.• Sepulveda et al. (2010), Social Enterprise and ethnic minorities• Soteri-Proctor (2011), Little Big Societies: micro-mapping of organisations operating Belowthe Radar
  25. 25. Social Enterprise and the BME community sectorAlessio D‟Angelo, Social Policy Research Centre ( Social Enterprise and Equality, 24 May 2012