Social Enterprises worth £756m to Yorkshire

Social Enterprises worth £756m to Yorkshire

Social enterprises in Yorkshire and the Humber show an average growth in turnover of 127%, compared to 80% nationally, in the latest NatWest SE100 index.

The region has a total combined turnover of £756.6m and a combined profit of £59m. Yorkshire and the Humber accounts for 6% of the total index users, with 71 social enterprises from the region.

Giroscope, a social enterprise in Hull working to get disadvantaged adults into work through renovating empty properties, has been recognised as a leading social enterprise, growing steadily and making a big impact. The organisation has experienced a 41% growth in turnover.

They regenerate areas of Hull, rebuilding communities by bringing empty properties in the area back into use. Its volunteer programme gives work placements to people who have been excluded from the employment market, including ex-offenders, people with learning difficulties and the long-term unemployed.

Commenting on their success, Martin Newman, co-ordinator at Giroscope, said: “There are plenty of schemes out there trying to get people back into employment. But often the work involved is meaningless, and focused on things that are not of any particular use to society.

“Our volunteers are working with us are creating affordable homes, which is a very real issue with the lack of housing in the UK at the moment. Some of the people we work with may have offended previously in our area which makes the project quite restorative in a sense.”

Minister for civil society, Rob Wilson, said: "Social enterprises are the lifeblood of communities up and down the country. They tackle social challenges while contributing to economic growth, making them hugely popular with both consumers and investors.

“The SE100 Index is a benchmark which encourages innovation in the sector so that their great work in building a compassionate society can continue long into the future."

Mark Parsons, head of community finance and social enterprise, NatWest, said: "This report shows that social enterprises across the country are generating significant profits whilst having a powerful impact on their communities.

“The 80% average growth in turnover in the sector is hugely impressive, while the performance of the top 100 in the Index shows that there are some incredible high-growth social businesses out there - transforming economies and lives at the same time.”