It’s Social Enterprise Day 2012

This week is Global Entrepreneurship Week and a number of events have been taking place to celebrate and inspire entrepreneurs, old and new.

Today, Thursday, marks Social Enterprise Day when businesses that address social issues are getting their time in the spotlight.

Social Enterprises are becoming more common in the public perception and high-profile SEs such as The Big Issue and The Eden Project are two such nationally-recognised forms of this business type.

It’s not just the profile of these important organisations that’s growing either – according to the State of Social Enterprise Survey 2011 (PDF) the median turnover of social enterprises in the UK has risen from £175,000 in 2009 to £240,000 in 2011.

Furthermore, the same survey found that 82% of social enterprises reinvest their surplus & profits back into the local economy.

The organisation, Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) who conducted the report, have also stated that government data points to social enterprises contributing at least £24bn to the UK economy (2010).

As part of Social enterprise Day, the day kicks of with the opening of the new social enterprise hub, the Centre for Social Impact, in the old Fire Station at Tooley Street, Southwark.

Backed by major accountancy firm PwC, the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) seeks to foster social innovation in a physical and virtual space. As a hub for those involved in community-led projects, CSI aims to accelerate positive change and increase collaboration between the public, government and the private sector. Measurement of socio-economic impact will be key in the success of the centre.

After lunch, the SEUK team will be at the The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) to hear June O’sullivan of the London Early Years Foundation talk about how social franchising can tackle child poverty.

Then Head of Policy at SEUK, Ceri Jones, will visit Livity in Brixton, a youth engagement agency that gets disenfranchised youngsters involved with the world of business before members of the team goes to the Ministry of Stories where youngsters are encouraged to develop their writing skills.

Social enterprise Day culminates at 6pm tonight with the winners of the Future 100 Awards being announced at One More, London. Future 100 celebrates the UK’s leading young social entrepreneurs with past winners including The Small Business Consultancy, a Community Interest Company (CIC).

There’s an extra bonus for the world of social enterprise with the Shine Unconference, the unconventional conference, being held on Thursday and Friday for socially-minded entrepreneurs. The focus here is not on the speakers but the like-minded people attending and opportunities will abound for those seeking to take their social venture to the next level.

So, that’s Social Enterprise Day, 2012. And for those still interested in the facts and figures there’s a great infographic in Metro today – Social Enterprise

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