Social economy needs to help plan for economic, social and community recovery — read our briefing paper

In a spirit of contributing to a wider debate about how we can begin to move beyond the immediate health crisis and plan for economic, social and community recovery BSSEC and the Birmingham Social Enterprise City steering group have produced a briefing paper that we hope will help prompt discussion both within the sector and more widely amongst policy-makers.

As well as making detailed recommendations about how existing business support packages can be made more equitable for social enterprises, it looks forward too and makes a central point regarding the need for policy-makers, public authorities, the private sector, business groups and the social economy to work together in a collective effort for economic, social and community recovery. We call for ‘recovery partnerships’ to be established as a means to ensure this necessary joint effort.

Over the coming days we’ll be sending this paper to key local and regional policy-makers to prompt debate and engagement. We think it will be of interest because it helps illuminate some of the real-life issues for social enterprises and the wider social economy — and as far as we have been able to see this is not a story that is being covered elsewhere.

We hope you find it useful.

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We also support SEUK‘s recent  joint letter to the Chancellor, signed by ten social economy leaders (also covered by Third Sector here). 

The letter emphasises the vital economic and employment contribution that social enterprise makes to the UK economy but reports that the design of current support programmes for business are causing social enterprises to fall through the cracks. To address these failings it calls for:

  • Extending existing business grants to include social enterprises.
  • Changing the delivery of loan finance to work for social enterprises.
  • Opening up emergency financing for public services to social enterprises delivering
    services on behalf of the state.
  • Providing business support so that social enterprises can use any funds they do receive to effectively transition their businesses.

 

Read our briefing paper: Covid-19 Social Economy Update: Birmingham — Impact & Issues.

→ Read SEUK’s joint letter to the Chancellor.

→ Also relevant: Government announces ‘top-up to local business grant funds scheme’.

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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