Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many social enterprises are there in the UK?

There are currently over 80,000 social enterprises in the UK and this is growing rapidly.

2. How important is social enterprise to the UK economy?                                                                                               

Social enterprise contributes approximately £18.6 billion to the UK economy. The sector employs close to 1 million people. 59% of social enterprises employ at least one person who is disadvantaged in the labour market.

3. How diverse is social enterprise?   

Not only is social enterprise diverse in its workforce, they are led by a wide range of people. 40% of social enterprises are led by women. 31% have Black/Asian/Ethnic directors. 40% have a director with a disability. Even celebrities are setting up social enterprises i.e. Hugh Jackman, Pharrell Williams, Rosario Dawson, Jamie Oliver and Jessica Alba, to name a few.

4. How many social enterprises are there in the world?            

There is no definitive number, but the number is constantly increasing. There are social enterprises all over the world, in every continent. In a 2016 study carried out by UnLtd, Thomson Reuters Foundation and Deutsche Dank, it was discovered that the UK is the 3rd best place in the world to set up a social enterprise, behind the US and Canada (http://poll2016.trust.org/).

5. Are any ‘big companies’ a social enterprise?  

It depends what you class as a big company. In the UK, the likes of Waitrose and Marks & Spencer are social enterprises, believe it or not. The former even stocks social enterprise products in its stores, from the likes of Toast Ale and Divine Chocolate.

6. Is a social enterprise like a normal company?   

Yes, they operate like any other business, although they can be set up under different legal structures: unincorporated association, partnership, limited company (by share or guarantee), co-operative or charity. As with any business, you still have to consider: tax implications, legal liability, requirements of regulatory bodies, and accounting records.

7. What support is out there for social enterprise?

There are many different funding options out there for social enterprises such as grants and start-up loans. If you’re a student or graduate looking to set up a social enterprise, it may be worth seeing what your university has to offer in terms of support. They may be able to provide start-up funding through a grant. There is plenty of support out there, not just financial, it’s just a matter of seeing what’s right for you. We have put together a small support guide to give you a head start.


For more information on social enterprise, see Social Enterprise UK’s FAQs

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Testimonials

"I recently attended a Social Enterprise workshop hosted by Anthony Veluz of The Socent Connection. Having just started a new business, I found it immensely useful. I was able to learn about social enterprise, the impact it can have on the way a business can provide its services, and how - by reinvesting profits into positive causes - social and environmental challenges can be tackled.  Anthony provided background, context and advice which I was able to relate to my venture - giving me direction when it came to building social enterprise into my own business plan. 

I feel this sort of workshop is a must for anyone who is about to embark on setting up a new business - truly eye-opening."

Kat John - Duffel Bag Publishing

"Really engaging presentation delivered by someone who is clearly passionate about social enterprise, which makes the whole workshop experience much better."

Sam Parr - University of Lincoln graduate and budding entrepreneur

"Anthony gave a really interesting presentation on social enterprise. It got us enterprise students thinking about creating our own social enterprise."

Guy Nicholson - Student at University of Lincoln

"Anthony has delivered business challenges for me on programmes and was fantastic at taking our plans and implementing them into a full day's challenge to over 800 16 year olds. Nothing is ever too much for Anthony."

Andy George - Relationship Manager at EBP and former NCS Team Leader

“Anthony delivered an interesting and inspiring talk to students on social enterprise, innovation and impact. He gave a fascinating insight into the world of social enterprise, his experiences and his social enterprise journey. It got the class thinking about setting up social enterprises in future to solve different problems. Anthony was engaging, passionate and knowledgable. ”

Andrea Caputo - Lecturer at University of Lincoln

"Anthony has done some fantastic work with Enactus Loughborough as a business adviser. From discussing with individual social enterprise teams to judging the final of a commercial competition, the Loughborough Apprentice, Anthony has been knowledgable, approachable and always ready to get stuck in. Anyone in need of business or social enterprise advice can look no further than Anthony Veluz!"

Ryan McGee - Vice President of Enactus Loughborough 2017-2018

“At first I was a bit unsure what to expect from a lecture on social enterprise as I had very little knowledge on the subject and wasn't really aware of its role within the business industry. Not only did Anthony make me feel very welcome but he took his time to explain the subject very clearly and with such an inspirational manner that I was interested in pursuing more information after the presentation. It was really interesting and Anthony clearly has an infectious love for the subject which he wants to share with everyone. I would highly recommend attending or just dropping an email as he always has time to give advice, thanks again!”

Vicky Flintoff - Student at University of Lincoln