It’s been two years since the previous survey and some significant trends are emerging in the new findings:
» The sector is young and getting younger: Close to half (49%) of all social enterprises are five years old or less. 35% are three years old or less – more than three times the proportion of SME start-ups. In terms of new business formation in the UK, social enterprise is where the action is.
» At the forefront of economic recovery: The proportion of social enterprises that grew their turnover over the past 12 months is 52%. A greater proportion of social enterprises are growing than mainstream SMEs (40%).
» Making a profit, making a difference: 50% of social enterprises reported a profit, with 26% breaking even. Almost all use the majority of those profits to further their social or environmental goals.
» Focused where most needed: 31% of socialenterprises are working in the top 20% most deprived communities in the UK.
» Operating globally: The proportion of socialenterprises that export or licence has grown to 14%. For over 1⁄3 of these, international trade accounts for between 11% and 50% of income
» It’s all about business: 73% of social enterprises earn more than 75% of their income from trade.
» Stronger than ever in public services: 27% of social enterprises have the public sector as their main source of income, an increase on 2013 and 2011. 59% of social enterprises do some business with the public sector.
» Not just any jobs: 59% of social enterprises employ at least one person who is disadvantaged in the labour market. For 16% of social enterprises, this group forms at least half of all employees.
» Paying fair: The average pay ratio between social enterprise CEO pay and the lowest paid is just 3.6:1 – for FTSE 100 CEOs, this ratio stands at 150:1.
This is an invaluable source of sector intelligence for anyone with an interest in the social enterprise sector — don’t miss it.