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How is job creation impacted by social enterprise?

Posting in Government

In a flagging economy with a high level of unemployment, can social enterprise reinvigorate U.K. businesses?

A recent live debate hosted by The Guardian brought this question in to the spotlight. In a recent roundup, business leaders ranging from CEOs to writers and advisors came up with advice and solutions for the modern-day business which is struggling to stay afloat, and does not know how to reach a large enough consumer base.

There are a number of ways that social enterprises -- businesses and organizations which apply market strategies to fill a social or environmental need -- can boost businesses and society itself. According to the experts present at the debate, keeping missions in the home location, small and in-keeping with local contractors can make all the difference.

In order to engage the community, they suggest that a mission should have a shared purpose rather than be purely for monetary gain; in addition, recruiting locally and from outside the usual workforce can also have an impact on other sectors. For example, Bath's mission to give the homeless jobs as tour guides may end up boosting tourism not only for the novelty factor, but as homeless employees may turn out to be enthusiastic and keen hosts.

Many social enterprises have started up in deprived areas, one expert argued, and as they often employ more staff proportionally than large firms, they may become the only avenue for those starting at the bottom rung of the recruitment ladder.

For so many of our young people who are out of work, social enterprises may not only prove to be a way of reviving neighborhoods, but may be an avenue for training and as a means to secure support to start up their own businesses. However, with so little government funding usually available to social enterprises, maintaining their growth will not necessarily be an easy task.

Interested? Read More: The Guardian

Image credit: Flickr

— By on April 29, 2013, 1:10 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure