The British Council has published a handbook on “social enterprise in the UK” which provides an informative and comprehensive introduction to the UK’s thriving social enterprise sector. The handbook draws upon the British Council’s seven years of involvement in social enterprise in the UK, and therefore is able to give specific insight as well as provide case studies that will be useful for both the practitioner looking to develop their social enterprise and for the individual or organisation interested in finding out more about the sector.  

“There are around 70,000 social enterprises in the UK employing over two million people and contributing £24 billion to the UK economy.” 

The handbook is divided into six sections covering the diversity of the UK social enterprise sector, the “ecosystem” of support networks for social enterprises, the variety of finance options available to social enterprises, the measurement of social impact, the collaboration within the social enterprise sector and the role that the government has come to play.

The British Council is engaged with developing social enterprise in 26 countries. In China, the British Council has been fundamental to the development of the concept of social enterprise, whilst also launching the Social Investment Platform that has helped provide investment opportunities to social entrepreneurs. 

In a time where the UK’s social economy is flourishing and is becoming widely recognized as a leader in global social investment, this handbook is not only a useful tool and guideline but also a testament to the important developments made in the UK’s social enterprise sector thus far. 

The handbook is available for download from the link below.