Social enterprise by the FreshTeam


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This guide aims to explain to any and all young people exactly what a social enterprise is. It includes information on legal structure, shining examples, organisations offering support, and the money available to social enterprises. Altogether, this guide should be all you need to learn the basics about social enterprise.

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Social enterprise by the FreshTeam

  1. 1. 1 This guide aims to explain to any and all young people exactly what a social enterprise is. It includes information on legal structure, shining examples, organisations offering support, and the money available to social enterprises. Altogether, this guide should be all you need to learn the basics about social enterprise. The global social enterprise movement is becoming bigger by the week, with more people across the country talking about it than ever before. Whether you’re just starting senior school, finishing A-levels or a leading business person already, social enterprise is becoming an important part of today’s communities and economy. Social enterprise has risen on the government’s agenda for many reasons; one example is due to financial cuts across the country. In order to gain business and funding, more organisations have to make a bigger difference with less money. That might simply mean selling more items at a cheaper price, or it may mean having a greater impact in the community with a smaller budget. This is just one example of where social enterprise has an advantage over other business models. Social enterprises invest some of the profit from a contract into communities; the councils and government organisations recognise this extra value therefore providing social enterprises the advantage. Lots of big brands in business were originally as set up with the social enterprise model. There are lots of products available in your high street that are from social enterprises such as a bar of Divine Chocolate or a copy of The Big Issue. With charities struggling to bring in donations, and the public demanding more for their money, it makes sense that so many organisations are looking at a social enterprise model and wondering if it’s the way forward for them. How to Understand Social Enterprise for Young People
  2. 2. How to Understand Social Enterprise for Young People Definition There is no strict definition of what a social enterprise is, but a few important organisations have made their own attempts at explaining what they are. British Government – “A business with primarily social objectives. They principally reinvest their surpluses in their business or community for these purposes. Unlike commercial businesses, they are not driven by the need to produce a profit for shareholders and owners” This simply means a business that uses its profits to make the world a better place. And unlike a typical business, a social enterprise doesn’t just aim to make money for the owners. Wikipedia – “A social enterprise is an organisation that applies business strategies to achieving philanthropic goals.” This simply means social enterprises use business to promote the wellbeing of others. Social Enterprise UK – “A social enterprise is a business that trades to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances or the environment.” A social enterprise is not a charity, and it’s not a typical type of business that’s simply there to make money. However, it does bring strategies from both of these. Some charities sell wristbands to help raise money, and some businesses give money away to charities and community groups as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility or C.S.R. - when a business gives back to the community, but their main aim is still to make profit. A social enterprise is an organisation that aims to help people or the planet, and reach these goals through business. Established Believe it or not, social enterprises were around centuries ago. Even in 1844 when co- operatives (businesses owned by the people who work for them) were started, there were entrepreneurs in the UK, and around the world aiming to help their communities. Social enterprise has come a long way since the 19th century and, according to Social Enterprise UK is one of the fastest growing movements in the country. The actual phrase “social enterprise” has been around for about 60 years but it’s only since the 1990s that people have started to recognise it. Around this time, many new organisations were setting up with a social enterprise model. One of the most famous social entrepreneurs was Lord Michael Young; his ideas paved the way for social enterprise and resulted in him creating The Open University, Consumers’ Association, Which? and the School for Social Entrepreneurs. The Young Foundation was also set up, supporting entrepreneurship to help communities in need. In the UK The UK is one of the world leaders for social enterprise, and holds large scale conferences for social entrepreneurs from all corners of the world. It’s estimated there are 62,000 social enterprises in the UK. Overall, these contribute more than £24 billion into the British economy, employing a workforce of nearly one million people. (Sourced from
  3. 3. How to Understand Social Enterprise for Young People Whatever industry, field or market you can think of, there’s most likely to be a social enterprise in there somewhere. From restaurants to retail, schools to sandwiches, healthcare to holidays, entrepreneurs have taken their business skills and used them to improve their communities in a wide variety of ways. The British government has released policies and plans to support the growing social enterprise movement within the country. These include a new legal structure for social enterprises, funding and support for social entrepreneurs, and the backing of organisations aiming to inspire young people to take on the problems in their community using business ideas. In July of 2010, a new bill was suggested called the Public Services Bill, sometimes referred to as the Social Value Bill. Basically it explains that councils have to consider the social value of buying public services, like emptying waste bins in the city or the cleaning of streets. For example, if a city council is trying to find a company to collect all of the rubbish bins from the public for 12 months, the council has to think about which company offers the best value, and in that figure include the social value. The added value could be that one business provides lots of apprenticeships for young people, or that 70% of the profit made by the company may go to community projects, or even that a company is completely carbon neutral. All of these factors and many more, will become ever more important as businesses compete for contracts and councils choose the businesses offering the best value for their money. Structure Social enterprises are incredibly varied in their business approach, and the same goes for their structures. With organisations starting from small community organisations going all the way up to huge international businesses, it’s only right that there are different structures for different social enterprises. Many legal forms exist for social enterprises and it’s very important that an entrepreneur chooses the correct one for his or her idea. The best structure for a business may depend upon the aims of the organisation, the people it will be working with or the industry it’s based in. A common structure for social enterprises is a registered charity with a company attached for trading. As charities can be exempt from certain taxes, and able to apply for lots of funding, there are lots of benefits in registering as a charity. Alongside the registered charity, the “trading arm”, or business owned by the charity, is able to sell its products or services and donate the profits to the charity. This forms an ideal partnership for many social enterprises, and can often bring the best advantages from both charities and businesses to work together. A social enterprise can then utilise benefits from both structures and gain the best advantage when selling their product. Another form for social enterprises is the Community Interest Company or C.I.C. This is a legal structure, introduced in 2005, with special features to support businesses that have a community benefit. It’s basically a limited company with a few extras added on. To become a C.I.C., a test has to be passed that proves the business has a positive social impact, and isn’t just there to make the
  4. 4. How to Understand Social Enterprise for Young People owners rich. If a business gains the title of a C.I.C., it has to follow certain rules and one of these is asset-lock. This simply means that the items and profits the company gains, can’t be completely given to owners or shareholders, and have to be invested back into the business or community. C.I.C.s can’t be used for political activities. Companies limited by guarantee or shares, these are often structures chosen by social entrepreneurs. They’re the structure taken on by most businesses and are very flexible, meaning they’re able to trade in different ways and spend their profits easily. The documents that decide the company’s goals may have social aims written into them, however these are not checked by a government organisation. Companies House is the organisation that an entrepreneur registers with to set up a company limited by guarantee or shares, and provides lots of information about how to set up. Industrial and provident societies – these organisations are usually used for cooperatives, where the business is run democratically. This means that the members of the organisation all vote on how things are run and which decisions are made. These businesses are regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Charities A social enterprise uses business to help people or the planet. A charity is defined as an organisation established for charitable purposes only, and must be of public benefit. There are 13 purposes that a charity must fulfill at least one of, to become a registered charity in England and Wales, and they include: 1. Stopping poverty 2. Improving education 3. Improving religion 4. Improving health or saving lives 5. Helping community development 6. Supporting arts, culture, heritage or science 7. Supporting amateur sport 8. Supporting human rights, peace and equality 9. Helping the environment 10. Helping those in need 11. Helping animals 12. Helping the armed forces or emergency services 13. Other similar charitable purposes Compared to a social enterprise, a charity could be considered less sustainable, because it relies on donations and funding to operate. A social enterprise can apply for funding and receive donations. However it’s expected that a social enterprise makes at least half of its income from doing business. This means that should funding come to an end, the social enterprise will still have an income through its own trading. Also, organisations attempting to become a registered charity can often have a lot more paperwork and “baggage” in order to run,
  5. 5. How to Understand Social Enterprise for Young People compared to a company limited by guarantee. This can deter social entrepreneurs from choosing this structure; however there are areas where charities have greater benefits, such as in tax and surpluses. Business Social enterprises are a type of business, but simply businesses with values and social impact. Realistically, a social enterprise should have a social or environmental mission at the heart of the organisation. With so many social enterprises setting up, many businesses are facing tough competition. The public is becoming even more aware of what a social enterprise is and know that when they buy a product from a social enterprise, society benefits. This is true within business too, private businesses are currently realising the benefits of buying from a social enterprise, and can often consider this when they spend their money. Businesses are set up to make profit, and this is often referred to as the bottom line. Sometimes a company may aim on growing and investing; but over the long term a business will plan to make lots of money. However, things aren’t as simple for social enterprises because they have to consider the triple bottom line. This not only means thinking about the profit the business has made, but also the value for the people it has benefitted, and the impact it has had upon the environment. Putting a number on the value of helping people and the planet can be tough. For example, if a social enterprise helps six unemployed people into a job, how can you place a price on it? Well, one way is to think about how much the government may save on paying their Job Seeker’s Allowance. Another may be to think about the income tax that person will then pay, and how much their wages support other local businesses. Just as important is the health of that person; if they’re feeling better about themselves they may need less visits to their doctor, saving the NHS money. All of these factors and many more add up to what is called the S.R.O.I., the social return on investment. For further information visit: Social Enterprise Mark There are many quality and standard marks that exist across lots of different areas in business. From construction to catering, and everywhere else, there is likely to be a mark to be achieved by meeting certain standards. For example, there are “Positive about disabled people”, “Investors in People” and the “Eco- Schools Award” to name just a few. In 2010, the Social Enterprise Mark was launched to help social enterprises be proud of their commitments. And also to allow people to make more informed decisions about the value of something they’re buying from a business, compared to a social enterprise. An example of this may be when a charity is looking to hire someone to help with their fundraising. The charity would know that if a social enterprise applied for the contract, part of the payment to them will be invested to help the community. This adds value to what the social enterprise is offering to sell and can improve their chances of winning the contract because the charity notices their commitment to social change. Another aim of the mark is to create a network of social enterprises that connect to
  6. 6. How to Understand Social Enterprise for Young People each other and the public, to strengthen the social enterprise movement. To be able to use the mark, a social enterprise must meet strict rules and also pay a fee. The size of the fee depends upon how big your organisation may be and starts at £350 if the annual income of the business is less than £150,000. This rises to a fee of £4,500 if the organisation’s income is £30 million or above. There are six questions a business must be able to answer yes to, in order to gain the Social Enterprise Mark, and these are: 1. Are there social or environmental aims? 2. Does the business have its own group of leaders and a report that explains the organisation’s rules, aims and values? 3. Are 50% of the business’ profits spent on community benefit? 4. Does 50% of the money the business receives come from selling? 5. Can the business prove it’s making a difference and achieving goals? 6. If the business ended, would the money and equipment left be given to benefit people or the planet? ASDAN, Yoga CIC and Recycle-IT are just a few of the businesses that have passed the standards for the mark. They display the mark, as a symbol to their customers and partners, of their commitment to people or the planet. Money Setting up a social enterprise, or any type of business, will require some money to start. It might be to buy a computer and projector, if the business is going to do workshops and presentations. It might be to buy sports equipment, if the business will be running football coaching sessions. Whatever it is, it’s important to look at the money available to help set up a social enterprise, and what type of money is being offered. Grants – These don’t have to be paid back and are kind of like a donation, but they will usually be given with requirements. For example, an organisation might have to explain what they will spend the money on, and then stick to that list by a certain date. Grants can vary in size from anything as small as £20 (or smaller) up to millions of pounds. There are also lots of different sources for grants, all for different purposes. A grant can be to help an organisation set up, and this may be a £2000 business start up grant from government. Another type may be a £10,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund, to run a drama project in an area without many facilities and things to do for young people. Hopefully this shows how grants can be big or small, from government, charities or a business, and can be given for lots of different reasons. If applying for a grant, it’s important to know which one is the best for you and what you’ll need to do once you’ve spent the money. You may simply need to send receipts to prove how you spent a grant, but it may also be a requirement to submit a report, photographs and maybe even complete a presentation in front of the funders. Loans – These do have to be paid back and usually with interest added on top. How much interest needs to be paid will depend on where
  7. 7. How to Understand Social Enterprise for Young People the loan is from. The social enterprise loan fund give out loans to charities and social enterprises that might struggle to get a loan from the bank or other sources. They do charge interest on their loans, however the money they make is reinvested into helping more social enterprises and charities the following year. Banks do offer loans but are often more interested in knowing how they’ll get their money back with interest. Before receiving money from anyone, a social enterprise, or any organisation needing money, will usually have to have some things to show they’re legal and working safely with their financial accounts. A governing document, sometimes called a constitution or memorandum, is simply a document that explains how the organisation is going to work. It sets out the aims of the organisation, who’s in charge of what, and what may happen if that organisation comes to an end. Other requirements for funding may include the correct insurance and policies explaining how the organisation will support volunteers, or work safely with children and vulnerable adults. A separate bank account is usually needed too. Lots of banks offer a free bank account to small businesses and community organisations, it’s worth looking around for the best offers available. Finally, some funders will ask that the money being provided is going to an account that’s managed by 2 people, or more, that are unrelated and don’t live together. This is to prevent the money be used illegally, or simply vanishing. The Social Investment Business, CAF Venturesome (Charities Aid Foundation) and Big Issue Invest are just a few organisations that provide a real variety of financial support for organisations. Some offer different types of loans, some offer grants and often mixes of the two. If investment is granted, it can usually come along with business support to maximize the effectiveness of the investment. Examples Getting a social enterprise off the ground and working successfully is hard work, and it is clear that this way of working takes a large degree of independent-mindedness and entrepreneurial zeal – so social enterprises aren’t for everybody. Social enterprises come in many shapes and sizes, and there are thousands of successful ones across the UK many of which are very well known. Here are a few examples of business ideas making a real difference in the communities they work in. Fifteen A restaurant brand set up by Jamie Oliver in 2002. Fifteen is a fleet of restaurants set up across the world with businesses in London, Cornwall, Amsterdam and Melbourne. A very simple concept to employ young people on an apprenticeship programme, giving them a chance to learn new skills and gain an experience of working in the competitive restaurant industry. The profits from the business are given to the apprentice programme and help to change the lives of young people from all walks of life. Fifteen London was rated as one of the top 100 restaurants in the UK, and globally the Fifteen group have supported 220 graduates of the apprentice scheme, 50% of which had drug or alcohol issues in the past. Also, only 2% of the apprentices that graduated were unable to find a job. This means that 215 of the 220 who completed the apprentice programme, have graduated and gained a job as a result.
  8. 8. How to Understand Social Enterprise for Young People Big Issue Set up in 1991, this magazine aimed to give homeless people a chance to earn an income, and use the content of the magazine for campaigning. Weekly, The Big Issue sells around 135,000 copies in the UK alone and the profits made go to The Big Issue Foundation. The Big Issue Foundation is a registered charity providing support to people who sell the magazine and other homeless people. They link these people to help and advice, and try to solve the reasons that have caused their homelessness. The Big Issue works on a structure of selling the magazine to sellers for £1, who then sell it to the public for £2, keeping £1 for themselves. The organisation is very proud of their values, and that they offer people a hand up to improve themselves, not simply a handout. In 2008 they won the Ernst Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award and are mentioned regularly as an excellent example of social enterprise, not only in the UK but other countries too. Divine Chocolate In early 1990s, a group of cocoa farmers came together to form a cooperative (a business owned by the people who work for it) and gain some control of how their cocoa was sold. This was to try and gain a better, and fairer price for their cocoa. The group was called the Kuapa Kokoo and in 1997, they voted to set up their own chocolate company. By teaming up with The Body Shop, Christian Aid, Twin Trading and Comic Relief, they launched Divine Chocolate. This meant the farmers of Ghana weren’t simply getting a good price for their cocoa, but a share of the profits their cocoa beans were making. Despite the massive amounts of competition from other chocolate makers, Divine has grown to an £8 million business and has over 35 products available all over the country, as well as abroad too. 45% of the business is owned by the cocoa farmers meaning that they earn extra money. They are also empowered with the ability to shape, run and grow their company for the benefit of their communities in West Africa. In 2008, Divine won The Observer Ethical Award and has continued to win several awards since. They’re currently on the shelves of many supermarkets and continue to make a real difference to the cocoa farmers of the Kuapa Kokoo workers’ cooperative.
  9. 9. How to Understand Social Enterprise for Young People Young Advisors Set up in 2006, Young Advisors is a national charity set up to develop teams of young people across England who strengthen the ways organisations engage with young people, and improve the services offered to them. There are almost 50 Young Advisors teams across the country, totaling over 800 young people. The majority of these young people are employed by their scheme and work as professionals in their areas to help adults with important decisions that effect the youth, and often many more people, in that area. Young Advisors are an example of social enterprise, making positive changes across England. They have a young person as the chair-person of the national charity, making sure young people are involved and directing the work they do. Not only does the business side help other organisations to connect and empower their young people, the Young Advisors schemes employ and train local young people. They get paid, experience a real and professional job, and maybe gain the key to a whole new career path. The organisations mentioned so far have been founded by people with experience in business or their industry. Young people have also set up and run social enterprises, many of which compete on a professional level with businesses that have been around for years. With the range of support and guidance available for all young people, getting a head start in business, and particularly social enterprise, has never been easier. The following social enterprises are examples of young people who’ve taken their idea and turned it into a reality. Food Cycle Established in 2008 by Kelvin Cheung, Food Cycle is a very simple but powerful concept. The organisation takes the food surplus of retailers (the extra stuff they can’t sell), passes it to volunteers who prepare it for members of the community who don’t have access to healthy food. The volunteers gain new skills and experiences, members of the community gain access to healthy food, and Food Cycle sell produce to the public in their community cafes. Since setting up, Food Cycle have saved nearly 8,000kg of surplus food, and converted it into almost 14,000 nutritious meals. Through this process, over 7,000 hours of volunteering has taken place. In total, this amounts to a real community impact and brilliant social enterprise that shows no signs of slowing down.
  10. 10. How to Understand Social Enterprise for Young People FreshTeam A social enterprise set up in early 2010 to empower young people. FreshTeam gains contracts with professional organisations that are looking to enhance young people’s skills and abilities, typically around business and enterprise, and support organisations that are looking to work with young people. The team then use the profits from this to deliver community action projects, fully developed by young people in the area who will benefit. This ensures the money is spent on solving problems that matter to younger members of the community. The organisation is lead by young people, employs only young people and works for the benefit of young people. This social enterprise was set up by a young person, and has overcome challenges to frequently compete with professional businesses to successfully win contracts. This shows that young people can succeed in enterprise and still have a great impact on the communities they work within.
  11. 11. How to Understand Social Enterprise for Young People Support There’s lots of support available to social enterprises, and the entrepreneurs who run them. Whether it’s being set up, attempting to grow or even going global, many organisations exist to support the social enterprise movement. These vary from government funded bodies, to charities, and often successful social entrepreneurs trying to help other people in their businesses. The ‘Social Enterprise Ambassadors Programme’ for example is a group of some of the country’s leading social entrepreneurs who come together and voluntarily give their time to support others and raise awareness of the social enterprise movement. The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) exists to help people enhance and use their creative and entrepreneurial talents. The SSE is established in many major cities, such as Liverpool and London, as well as across the world and is a great example of a social enterprise franchise. A franchise is a business that sells their logos and business model to franchisees. (Lots of fast food restaurants operate through this model too.) They welcome a range of people and support them in a variety of ways. Some students are fresh out of school and haven’t even decided on a name for their organisation, while some students have had their social enterprise for years and want to grow their organisation, or themselves as a social entrepreneur. Students receive training and advice but also visit various social enterprises, witnessing different projects, people and businesses. The SSE brings a very hands-on approach to learning about social enterprise, and supports students even once they’ve graduated as fellows. Support for social enterprises can vary by area, but there will always be someone who can help. A fantastic way of finding out what’s available is to simply search online for “social enterprise” and the name of an area. Organisations will pop up and even if they’re unable to support people with their social enterprises, they may well be able to redirect and signpost towards sources of help locally. How to set up There are different ways to set up a social enterprise, and lots of different types of support and guidance available too. A useful way to organise setting up is with the GROW model. GROW stands for Goal, Reality, Obstacles and Way forward. It will help any young person with an idea for a social enterprise to take that idea and be on their way into making it a reality. Following the GROW model is a brief explanation of what most young people will need to do in the first steps of their social enterprise. G - Goal Decide exactly what your overall goal is. It might be to make your city a safer place to live, or to break down barriers between different communities. This is a very important step, as everything you do from here will be related to achieving the goal you decide upon. Whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve, it should be something you’re passionate about and really believe in. Try writing it down and sticking it on the wall for a few days, you’ll soon realise whether this is the goal to direct your social enterprise or if it needs a bit of tweaking. For help on deciding your goal, the best advice will come from people who have similar interests and motivations as yourself.
  12. 12. How to Understand Social Enterprise for Young People If you’re a bit stuck and don’t know anyone who could offer a bit of support on setting your goals, try to find an organisation that has similar values to what you’re trying to achieve, get in touch to see if they’ll offer a bit of help. If you’re still unable to find the support you need, try contacting one of the organisations at the end of this guide who offer advice to lots of different social enterprises, such as the School for Social Entrepreneurs or Young Enterprise UK. R – Reality Now that you’ve decided your overall goal, it’s time to see how you’re going to reach that goal in your current situation. With a social enterprise, you need to think about how you’re going to generate your own income from trading, and maybe consider other sources of money. Think about what knowledge you have, and where you could learn a bit more. What resources are available that you could use to help you on your journey? Are there people who can offer you help, websites with information or local organisations offering funding? Whatever is available; if it helps you on your social enterprise journey, take advantage of it. Draw up a timeline for the next 12 months and at points along the timeline, write down mini-goals you hope to have achieved by that date. These may include setting up a bank account, completing your first funding bid or having a website created and put online. This will help you to plan ahead, for example if you’re going to visit schools and run workshops about the environment with pupils, you can then note down that 2 months before you visit the schools you may need to obtain a CRB check, purchase some insurance or design some advertisements. Looking at your goal and putting it into reality is an important step, this is the start of bringing all of your skills together. It’s useful to be realistic, set achievable mini-goals for what needs to be done, but still keep a list of things that need to be completed longer term. Sometimes you might have quite a lot on your to-do list, try to prioritise and if you get stuck, never be afraid to ask for help. The end of this guide includes links to Start Ups which contain very useful information online about getting started with your organisation, and Business Link can also offer some support to keep you on track in achieving your goals. O – Obstacles Setting up any type of organisation you’re bound to find some obstacles along the way. Some problems can be easy to solve with a quick search online, and some may need a lot of thought such as applying for some funding. At times you might have quite a few obstacles to overcome, however whatever problem comes up, the chances are that somebody else will have faced something similar. Try asking around your network and don’t be embarrassed, people will often do their best to help. Some typical obstacles that a person can find when setting up a social enterprise is trying to find some money to start up with, or knowing how much to charge for their products or services. When obstacles arise, maintain a positive attitude as solving them may be easier than you think. There will be times when you won’t understand a problem, such as creating your environmental policy or which insurance to purchase, and there are always sources of advice and support such as the UnLtd who give out awards of not just grants but staff support to help you on your way with social enterprise. The Prince’s Trust offer different support
  13. 13. How to Understand Social Enterprise for Young People packages too, both of these organisations’ links are given at the end of the guide. W – Way forward With your environmental or social goal decided upon, an action timeline drawn and a to-do list ready, you can now take your first steps with your social enterprise idea. New opportunities can arise so remain open-minded and continue to develop a network of contacts. Completing tasks set may produce great results, for example you may secure funding from all 3 grants you apply for. If this happens, take a bit of time to look at why you were successful and how you can maintain that skill in the future, or be able to pass it onto members of your team. Something may go wrong but with a positive approach and the right support from your contacts you’ll be able to overcome it and learn from it; make a little note of why or how that problem arose to try and avoid it in future, as well as how you solved it. Finally, it’s easy to move forward once you recognise how to achieve your goals, but feel free to alter or adapt some plans if you need to. Keep in touch with the people who support you best. Keep an eye on what you’ve achieved so far and plan ahead as best you can. With an enthusiastic approach and clear goals set, you’ll be on your way to setting up a great social enterprise. Key points for young people setting up a social enterprise: 1. Set your overall goal and be 100% sure it’s exactly what you’re passionate about. 2. Gain support from mentors or professionals, ideally people who understand your motivation and what you’re trying to achieve. 3. Look at which legal structure is best for your social enterprise, and look into how you apply to register. Also look at setting up a bank account, search around for the best offers and get an account to suit what your social enterprise needs. 4. Plan your next 12 months with mini goals to keep you on track. 5. Create a list of things you’ll need to get going. If you need equipment, look at what money is available to you. If you need help services, ask for recommendations and don’t be shy to ask for discounts or freebies. After all, you are a young person setting up a social enterprise! 6. Think about the long term. Social enterprises rely on making money from trading as well as in grants, so consider how your social enterprise is going to become more sustainable by generating as much of its own income as possible. 7. Always remember your core objectives, the goal you set out to achieve at the start. The actions you take with your social enterprise, needs to be working towards this goal and remain at the very heart of your organisation.
  14. 14. How to Understand Social Enterprise for Young People Summary Social enterprise is making a clear impact on our society; it is currently growing rapidly in both the UK and across the world. Even with fluctuations in our economy, social enterprise continues to make a massive difference to the lives of people across the country. There’s even been a campaign to raise awareness of social enterprise, the Society Profits campaign by Social Enterprise UK. Social enterprise has key elements of a typical business, in that it needs to sell something and make money from it. Social enterprise has similarities with charities too, in that they need to set goals for positive change and work towards them. Bringing both of these together is no easy achievement; in fact social entrepreneurs aren’t typically people who sit back and just let things work themselves out. Social entrepreneurs look at their problems and come up with a variety of solutions. They combine a business mind with a real passion for social change, having a valued impact on the communities they serve. Due to the variety of skills involved in starting up or running a social enterprise, there are accreditations and awards available, which tie into the learning process and can benefit the individuals involved across other potential career paths. Help is available for new and existing social enterprises, and the offer of support should be taken advantage of. In fact, any budding social entrepreneur will probably be reading this and be thinking about their own business ideas and how they could change the world. Organisations to look at There’s more information about social enterprise available, and plenty of organisations offering support and guidance. Below are just a few of the many organisations who work with entrepreneurs. Social Enterprise UK is the national body for social enterprise, together with their members they are the voice for social enterprise in the UK. Social Enterprise UK conducts research, provides information and tools, shares knowledge, builds networks, raises awareness and campaigns to create a business environment where social enterprises can thrive. Social Enterprise Ambassadors are leaders of successful social enterprises, who share their stories, experience, and expertise to help to raise awareness among key audiences and help social enterprise spread and grow throughout the country. The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) exists to provide training and opportunities to enable people to use their creative and entrepreneurial abilities more fully for social benefit. SSE supports individuals to set up new charities, social enterprises and social businesses across the UK. Business Link is government’s online resource for businesses. It contains essential information, support and services for you and your business – whether you work for a large organisation or are on your way to starting up.
  15. 15. How to Understand Social Enterprise for Young People The Social Enterprise Mark Company is a Community Interest Company (CIC) Limited by shares. It is a certification authority for social enterprises - social enterprises have to prove they are genuine against a set of qualification criteria, which is overseen by an independent Certification Panel to ensure fairness and consistency. Social Enterprise Live is a platform for stories and opinions, for debating the big issues, for shared learning, news and innovation. UnLtd is a charity which provides a complete package of funding and support, to help social entrepreneurs make their ideas a reality. Young Enterprise is the UK’s largest business and enterprise education charity, helping young people learn about business and the world of work in the classroom under the guidance of volunteers. Start Ups helps to locate information on setting up a social enterprise including legal issues, funding, ethical business practices and examples of existing social enterprises as well as expert advice on how you can become a social entrepreneur. The Social Enterprise Loan Fund provides loans to charities and social enterprises that are unable to secure sufficient funding from mainstream sources. They aim to help organisations that have a social impact, especially those working in disadvantaged communities. The Prince’s Trust provide practical and financial support to the young people who need it most. They help develop key skills, confidence and motivation, enabling young people to move into work, education or training. The Young Foundation works across the UK and internationally – carrying out research, influencing policy, creating new organisations and supporting others to do the same. The Charity Commission registers and regulates charities in England and Wales, so it’s our job to make sure all charities meet all their legal requirements and to work with charity trustees to put things right if they go wrong. The Community Interest Company Regulator is a partner of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and is the regulating body who approve the registration of a company as a CIC. The Regulator also has a continuing monitoring and enforcement role. Companies House registers all limited companies in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The main functions of Companies House are to: • incorporate and dissolve limited companies; • examine and store company information delivered under the Companies Act and related legislation; and • make this information available to the public.
  16. 16. How to Understand Social Enterprise for Young People The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is the regulator of the financial services industry in the UK. It is an independent body funded entirely by the firms they regulate. However, it is accountable to the Treasury and, through them, Parliament. [Figures, links, and organisations mentioned are all correct as at December 2011]. Participation Works 8 Wakley St, London, EC1V 7QE Enquiry line: 020 7833 6815 Email: Acknowledgements Authors: Matt Smith Researcher: Radhika Howarth Peer Reviewers: Beth Parker, Ana Brankovic – NCVYS Julie Hathaway, Louisa Jennings – KIDS Emrys Green – Consultant Mandy Douglas - NCB Case Studies: Fifteen Big Issue Divine Chocolate Young Advisors Food Cycle FreshTeam Published as part of the Catalyst consortium, a NCVYS coordinated partnership; Catalyst is a consortium of four organisations working with the Department for Education (DfE) as the strategic partner for young people, as part of the Department’s wider transition programme for the sector. Catalyst will work to deliver three key objectives over a two year period. It will strengthen the youth sector market, equip the sector to work in partnership with Government and coordinate a skills development strategy for the youth sector’s workforce.