State of Social Enterprise Survey 2009

This important research on social enterprise is the most robust and detailed the sector has ever had, and gives us new information that can help shift the discourse about social enterprise from anecdote to evidence. To those of us in the social enterprise sector, this important research is very welcome. To those who are new to social enterprise, this report will hopefully shine new light on what has often been an under-reported and undervalued part of the UK’s business landscape. The survey demonstrates what those of us in social enterprise have always believed, but can now demonstrate with evidence: social enterprises are a growing sector of profitable businesses, distinct from both private business and the voluntary sector, and agents for positive change defined by their social and environmental missions.

This report presents the findings of the State of Social Enterprise Survey 2009 – the largest survey of its kind of social enterprises in the UK. Its results are taken from 962 telephone interviews with senior figures within social enterprises. Its purpose is to shed light on the sector’s size, structure, motivations, prospects, origins and future. This report has evidenced that social enterprise is an increasingly important part of the UK’s economic and social landscape. The challenge ahead is to ensure that it is understood by educators, financiers, legal and accountancy professionals, policy-makers and politicians – all of whom can support its growth.

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