There Is a Third Way - and It Can Benefit All of Society; in What Is Expected to Be a Tough Year for Businesses There Is One Sector of the Economy That Is Set for Continued growth.Social Enterprises Are the Topic of a Major Convention in the Black Country Today. They Have Been with Us a Long Time but Remain Little Understood as Kevin Maton Explains

The Birmingham Post (England), January 29, 2008 | Go to article overview

There Is a Third Way - and It Can Benefit All of Society; in What Is Expected to Be a Tough Year for Businesses There Is One Sector of the Economy That Is Set for Continued growth.Social Enterprises Are the Topic of a Major Convention in the Black Country Today. They Have Been with Us a Long Time but Remain Little Understood as Kevin Maton Explains


Byline: Kevin Maton explains

Politicians are no strangers to over-statement and Ed Miliband, Minister for the Cabinet Office, was no exception when he suggested that only one in four people have an understanding of what a social enterprise is.

As the network director at Social Enterprise West Midlands, I would be delighted if I thought 25 per cent of people had an understanding of what it is all about. In fact, I doubt the percentage that really understand runs to double figures.

However, at the same time we know from a recent YouGov survey that nearly two thirds of adults would prefer a "business that reinvests its profits for the benefit of the community" to run their local healthcare, rubbish and transport services as efficiently as possible, assuming the cost would remain unchanged.My job is to assist the public and those running our institutions to understand that businesses run along these lines are social enterprises.

Clearly then, raising awareness is a crucial part of our remit and an important objective of our convention today in Dudley. We'll have 200 business people and policy makers from across the region gathering to increase their understanding of social enterprise as a business model and knowledge of the range of activity that already exists in the West Midlands.

In 2002 the Government launched its first Social Enterprise Strategy and established a Social Enterprise Unit, initially within the Department for Trade and Industry, although this was transferred to the Cabinet Office four years later.

The recognition by the Government of the importance of the sector is welcome and I am delighted that we have a keynote contribution from Phil Hope MP, Minister for the Third Sector, as part of our convention.

The sector also received a boost locally when Advantage West Midlands, the regional development agency, invested resources in Social Enterprise West Midlands, the regional membership organisation with the remit to develop a strong, visible, growing and sustainable social enterprise sector. We have a key aim of developing communication and support between agencies and social enterprises so that we have a strong and dynamic network of organisations committed to growing new and existing social enterprise businesses.

With these new resources we will be promoting the social enterprise business model, looking to influence policies that impact on the sector, facilitate networking and collaboration, share and spread good practice and provide up-to-date intelligence relevant to the sector.

Social Enterprises are not new; they have been with us in various forms for many years.

The best known of these are probably the Cooperative movement and the John Lewis Partnership. The Midlands Co-op, for example, is the second largest independent retail Society in the UK, employs some 7,600 staff and has gross sales in excess of pounds 749 Million.

Cafedirect is a Social Enterprise selling fair trade coffee and is the sixth most popular coffee brand in the UK.

The sector is also well represented in recycling with 10 per cent of all the recyclable waste in the UK collected by social enterprises.

Social enterprises that recycle furniture, for instance, are well represented in this region with well-known businesses such as South Shropshire Furniture Scheme and Green-Works based in the Boot Factory, Wolverhampton.

A new social enterprise that has been making the headlines for all the right reasons is the 'Fifteen' chain of restaurants established by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. These restaurants use their profitable activity to enable training placements to be offered to young people who may come from a disadvantaged background but have a passion for food.

Also included in the more common list of Social Enterprises are development associations, housing trusts, social firms and leisure trusts. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

There Is a Third Way - and It Can Benefit All of Society; in What Is Expected to Be a Tough Year for Businesses There Is One Sector of the Economy That Is Set for Continued growth.Social Enterprises Are the Topic of a Major Convention in the Black Country Today. They Have Been with Us a Long Time but Remain Little Understood as Kevin Maton Explains
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.