Social enterprise in Greater Birmingham

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The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) recognises the importance of social enterprise to economic prosperity in the area and  research just published by the GBSLEP (March 2014)  underlines just how significant the sector is.

Size of the sector

There are an estimated 450-500 social enterprises in Greater Birmingham, with a combined turnover of at least £180m and employing over 14,600 people.

Social enterprise is a growth sector

Even in the current harsh economic climate, social enterprises are performing well. Staff levels have increased by almost 11% during the period 2011-2013 — the creation of about 1,500 jobs. 73% of social enterprises reported an increase in turnover on the previous year. Over 67% expect to see growth in 2014, and over 72% expect to create additional jobs – with a significant proportion of these being for young people.


Trading is now overwhelmingly the greatest source of income for social enterprises. Roughly 86% of their income is earned from trading as opposed to about 14% from grants, donations and ‘other sources’. This is a significant shift from 6-7 years ago when a survey of Birmingham social enterprises indicated that only about 17% of those responding were earning 50% or more of their income from sales.

Read more: page 2 — innovation; social value