SEUK’s state of the sector 2015 report now available

Social Enterprise UK’s eagerly awaited state of the sector report for 2015 is now available and can be downloaded free of charge here.

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.

Birmingham UK. Freelance research, evaluation and policy consultant specialising in social enterprise and the third sector. I maintain the BSSEC blog and website

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