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Social enterprise

A social enterprise is a business whose objectives are primarily social, and whose profits are reinvested back into its services or the community. With no financial commitments to shareholders or owners, social enterprises are free to use their surplus income to invest in their operations to make them as efficient and effective as possible.

Social enterprises come in many shapes and sizes, from small community-owned village shops to large organisations delivering public services; from individual social entrepreneurs to multi-million pound global organisations. Well known social enterprises include Turning Point, the Eden Project, the Big Issue, and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant.  

Social enterprises are distinctive from traditional charities or voluntary organisations in that they generate the majority, if not all, of their income through the trading of goods or services rather than through donations. This gives them a degree of self-reliance and independence which puts them firmly in control of their own activities.

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Social enterprise in action

Hear about what inspired those who have already begun the journey to become a social enterprise:

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If you would like more information about Right to Request or social enterprises in health and social care, please get in touch by:

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