Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Good Intentions Can Lead to Success; Fed-Up of Doing Work That Seems to Do No Good? Well, Consider Working for a Social Enterprise. They Are More Innovative and Often More Successful Than Mainstream Businesses -- and You Can Earn a Decent Living, Says Niki Chesworth

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Good Intentions Can Lead to Success; Fed-Up of Doing Work That Seems to Do No Good? Well, Consider Working for a Social Enterprise. They Are More Innovative and Often More Successful Than Mainstream Businesses -- and You Can Earn a Decent Living, Says Niki Chesworth

Article excerpt

Byline: says Niki Chesworth

IMAGINE coming home from work every day with a real sense of achievement -- a feeling that you have done something to help make the world a better place. Well, that is why social enterprises are such an appealing place to work.

Social enterprises trade like other businesses but not to maximise profits. Instead, the aim is for everyone to profit. As a result they are one of the economy's most successful sectors. When it comes to turnover, growth, job creation, innovation, business optimism and start-up rates, social enterprises are outperforming their mainstream small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) counterparts, according to the 2015 State of Social Enterprise survey.

There are other attractions to these organisations. While large corporations seem to pay those at the top ever more excessive salaries and bonuses while imposing pay caps on ordinary employees, social enterprises are much fairer.

The average pay ratio among FTSE 100 firms of highest to lowest paid is 150:1; for social enterprises, it is 3.6:1, according to the research, which was launched by Social Enterprise UK, supported by Santander. So in a social enterprise where the lowest paid earns PS10,000, the highest-paid boss earns PS36,000 -- compared to PS1.5 million in a top FTSE 100 firm.

Social enterprises are also more diverse, with four in 10 led by women and nearly six in 10 actively seeking to employ those most disadvantaged from the labour market. Social enterprises are also one of the most innovative and dynamic business movements in the UK. More than a third of social enterprises have been established in the past three years, more than three times the proportion of SME start-ups.

"Social enterprises are demonstrating that it is possible to do business differently -- creating economic growth and jobs while also operating fairly and helping those people and communities most in need," says Peter Holbrook CBE, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK. …

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