What is a social enterprise?

Social enterprises are businesses like any other. The difference is that they trade for social or environmental purposes and use their surplus to achieve their mission.

Future Business is passionate about helping social enterprises start up and grow.


We believe they are making significant impact on issues like unemployment, homelessness and supporting people with disabilities. Others are pioneering efforts to promote sustainability and address climate change. Some examples of well-known social enterprises are Cafedirect and the Big Issue.

The UK already has around 62,000 social enterprises, with a turnover of £18bn, employing 500,000 people and 200,000 volunteers.

If this sounds like the type of organisation you’d like to set up, consider participating in our Business Growth and Development Programme.