Public services in the community –  can social enterprises and  co-ops really deliver? Nov 2011 Adrian Ashton www.adrianas...
<ul><li>What’s a ‘social enterprise’ </li></ul><ul><li>What’s a co-op (and isn’t it the same as a mutual?) </li></ul><ul><...
Social Enterprise <ul><li>Hotly contested definitions ( public arguments about the ‘Social Enterprise Mark’ and other kite...
What’s a co-op? <ul><li>In the UK, no overarching single legal definition... </li></ul><ul><li>An enterprise owned, contro...
Defined by values <ul><li>Voluntary and open membership </li></ul><ul><li>Democratic member control </li></ul><ul><li>Memb...
A mutual <ul><li>... shares many characteristics in common with co-ops, but exists only to benefit its members </li></ul>A...
Why the interest in them? <ul><li>Co-ops proven to be one of most sustainable models for business </li></ul><ul><li>Able t...
UK co-op movement <ul><li>£33bn turnover (£635m each week) </li></ul><ul><li>1 in 5 people are a member of a co-op </li></...
Perspective of the sector <ul><li>Co-op model would seem to offer ideal fit to policy agenda </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ hunge...
Challenges to commissioning <ul><li>No changes to govt purchasing to encouraging SMEs ( despite public pledges to do so ) ...
Want to know more? <ul><li>Twitter - #coops #socent </li></ul><ul><li>Co-operativesUK  www.uk.coop  and  www.publicservice...
Want to know more? <ul><li>Community Catalysts –  www.communitycatalysts.co.uk   </li></ul><ul><li>“ Insourcing: a guide t...
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opportunities and threats for co-ops and social enterprises delivering public services

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guest lecture given at Manchester Metropolitan University on 8 November 2011

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opportunities and threats for co-ops and social enterprises delivering public services

  1. 1. Public services in the community – can social enterprises and co-ops really deliver? Nov 2011 Adrian Ashton www.adrianashton.co.uk Guest lecture to 1 st year Public Services students, MMU
  2. 2. <ul><li>What’s a ‘social enterprise’ </li></ul><ul><li>What’s a co-op (and isn’t it the same as a mutual?) </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the interest and reality of their being able to deliver public services? </li></ul>Adrian Ashton
  3. 3. Social Enterprise <ul><li>Hotly contested definitions ( public arguments about the ‘Social Enterprise Mark’ and other kitemarks ) </li></ul><ul><li>3 key characteristics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fix the world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prevent private profiteering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Protect assets gained for public benefit </li></ul></ul>Adrian Ashton
  4. 4. What’s a co-op? <ul><li>In the UK, no overarching single legal definition... </li></ul><ul><li>An enterprise owned, controlled, and run in interests of its members ( must be a principal stakeholder group ) </li></ul>Adrian Ashton
  5. 5. Defined by values <ul><li>Voluntary and open membership </li></ul><ul><li>Democratic member control </li></ul><ul><li>Member economic participation </li></ul><ul><li>Autonomy and independence </li></ul><ul><li>Education, training and information </li></ul><ul><li>Co-operation amongst co-operatives </li></ul><ul><li>Concern for community </li></ul>Adrian Ashton
  6. 6. A mutual <ul><li>... shares many characteristics in common with co-ops, but exists only to benefit its members </li></ul>Adrian Ashton
  7. 7. Why the interest in them? <ul><li>Co-ops proven to be one of most sustainable models for business </li></ul><ul><li>Able to reach and engage those people that the state can’t... </li></ul><ul><li>Co-ops have Pioneered consumer/worker rights: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Food labelling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Animal testing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fair trade </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental impact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workers rights </li></ul></ul>Adrian Ashton
  8. 8. UK co-op movement <ul><li>£33bn turnover (£635m each week) </li></ul><ul><li>1 in 5 people are a member of a co-op </li></ul><ul><li>Employs more than 235,000 people </li></ul>Adrian Ashton
  9. 9. Perspective of the sector <ul><li>Co-op model would seem to offer ideal fit to policy agenda </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ hunger’ from people: community buy-outs, community share issues, Co-op schools, ... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But need for support – no funding from state, sector needs to better support itself </li></ul>Adrian Ashton
  10. 10. Challenges to commissioning <ul><li>No changes to govt purchasing to encouraging SMEs ( despite public pledges to do so ) </li></ul><ul><li>Key criteria usually cost – but values led businesses will usually cost more ( despite offering longer-term preventative savings ) </li></ul><ul><li>Social value bill – but references to ‘social enterprises’ now removed... </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition that local commissioning officers’ preferences will take precedent over national guidance </li></ul><ul><li>Devolution from state to users ( personalisation agenda ) </li></ul><ul><li>Recent academic research unable to identify significant benefits to social enterprise and co-ops delivering public services </li></ul>Adrian Ashton
  11. 11. Want to know more? <ul><li>Twitter - #coops #socent </li></ul><ul><li>Co-operativesUK www.uk.coop and www.publicservices.uk.coop </li></ul><ul><li>Social Enterprise UK www.socialenterprise.org.uk </li></ul>Adrian Ashton
  12. 12. Want to know more? <ul><li>Community Catalysts – www.communitycatalysts.co.uk </li></ul><ul><li>“ Insourcing: a guide to bringing local authority services back in-house ”, aspe </li></ul><ul><li>Guardian Social Enterprise Network www.guardian.co.uk/social-enterprise-network and </li></ul><ul><li>www.guardian.co.uk/social-enterprise-network/co-operatives-and-mutuals </li></ul>Adrian Ashton

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