Headlines: July 11th, 2008

Social entrepreneurs are more likely to come from under represented groups and it is these people that are likely to be innovative in tackling the needs they see in front of them on a daily basis. These findings come from a report based on a five-year survey of social entrepreneurship in the UK, published by the Social Enterprise Coalition.

The Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are more likely to produce entrepreneurs than the White community. Although men outnumber women by two to one in enterprise in general, social entrepreneurs are more likely to be women.

Social enterprises are profit-making businesses established to tackle social or environmental issues. Well known examples include The Big Issue, Café Direct and Jamie Oliver?s Fifteen, but there are many other social enterprises operating in a wide range of industries from farmers markets and recycling companies to transport and childcare providers.

The report highlights that almost 1.3 million people or 3.4 per cent of the working age population, consider themselves to be social entrepreneurs, representing a significant part of the UK’s labour force. Also 35 per cent of all entrepreneurs who have been involved in start-up activity for less than three months in the UK are social entrepreneurs and 12 per cent of early stage entrepreneurs are starting a social venture.

The survey also revealed that there continues to be increasing numbers of individuals in the UK identifying themselves as social entrepreneurs who want to achieve a social or environmental purpose through profit-making ventures.