Social Enterprises in the UK

If you are thinking of setting up a Social Enterprise in the UK we can help. We enjoy supporting entrepreneurs share values in commitment to social causes. We believe that your business and your cause will make a difference to the sustainability of our planet, our society and our way of life. Starting your social enterprise means you will make you a part of a network of 70,000 plus social enterprises across the UK. 

We can help you with everything you need to set up your Social Enterprise, the right way. 

Am I eligible to be a Social Enterprise? 

Being a social enterprise means that while you operate your business as normal, you re-invest at least 50% of your profits into social causes. What you choose to do to create your profits is entirely up to you and what causes you choose to re-invest at least 50% of your profits into. It is also entirely up to you. 

So essentially, being a Social Enterprise merges the traditional charity with the traditional profit-seeking business. 

A Social Enterprise must meet the following requirements:

  • A Social Enterprise must have a SOCIAL MISSION 
  • It must be TRADING FOR PROFITS
  • And must be re-investing at least 50% off it’s PROFITS INTO ITS ACHIEVING ITS SOCIAL MISSION 
  • It should be INDEPENDENTLY OWNED but does not exist to maximise shareholders wealth. 
  • A Social Enterprise must measure its SOCIAL IMPACT.

What kind of Business Structure should you choose?

Because you are running your business selling goods and service to the open market, you are able to choose from a number of business structures. Many Social Enterprises choose to start off as sole traders, Partnerships or Non-Profit Organisations and move on to choose a legal structure such as a Limited Company at a later stage.

Deciding on which structure suits you best will depend on a variety of considerations such as tax implications, legal separation and the basic constitution of your Social Enterprise.

Find Support and Funding for your Social Enterprise

School for Social Entrepreneurs – The School for Social Entrepreneurs to get access to learning programmes and support for social startups. The SSE also offers grants. Visit www.the-sse.org 

UnLtd – Get access to a range of grants and advice for social enterprises at the pre-startup and established phases of their social entrepreneurship. Visit www.unltd.org.uk 

The Directory for Social Change – Offer training courses and offers a searchable database of trusts and foundations. Visit www.dsc.org.uk 

Funding Central – Funding Central is a great place to find Funding opportunities and is free to for small businesses to use.   Visit www.fundingcentral.org.uk/ 

NatWest Social & Community Capital – Natwest bank’s independent charity which can provide bigger loans between £30,000 and £750,000. They also offer business support to social enterprises who are unable to access mainstream funding. Visit www.natwest.com/scc

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