- Geof Cox's Blog
- The dark side of the social enterprise boom...
- What would a social enterprise economy look like?
- Social Enterprise Law in South Eastern Europe
- Where does social enterprise fit in postcapitalism?
- Can social enterprise save public services?
- Greece, France - making enterprise more social...
- Small is the new big!
- Social impact is no longer an option for big brands
- What on earth is Social Enterprise UK doing?
- Asset Based Strategy Matrix
- Copyright infringement is NOT theft
- Impact2 Social Enterprise Conference
- Not So Grim Up North
- CASE's 30th Birthday
- Guardian Blog
- The Senscot Bulletin
- The Performance of Socially Responsible Investment
- Social Investment – or the Emperor's New Clothes
- Such a definitions mess that NOBODY can now clear it up?
- Social Enterprise Mark... or Social Enterprise Brand?
- Why social enterprise needs its own approach to intellectual property rights
- Does the social enterprise movement lack leadership?
- Business models based on greed and exploitation
- Not many jokes...
- NHS Social Enterprise Spin-outs - the real story
- Will tendering ever work for social enterprise?
- Learning from the Open Source Movement
- The Guardian & Social Enterprise
- The focus on a few kinds of social enterprise is blinding us to a bigger picture
- What do social enterprise and chocolate have in common?
- From Albania Again
- Guardian Social Enterprise Summit
- A conflict common to many co-operatives...
- Social Enterprise in Albania
- 2010 social enterprise visit to Russia - 1
- Day 2 in Rybinsk: -18°c
- Post 3 from Russia - Back to Moscow
- A typical question...
- Sounding like David Cameron...
- Do structures stymie social enterprise?
- 'Right to Request' tender collapses
- The number of 'social enterprises' just doesn't add up
- Social Firms Conference
- What is it, exactly, we’re doing with Social Firms?
- Social Firms UK Annual Conference
- Social Firms and the CIC Consultation
- What is social enterprise?
- Social Enterprise in Russia – Week 1 - Moscow, Schekino and Kaluga
- Social Enterprise in Russia – Week 2 - Rybinsk
- Social Enterprise in Russia – Week 2 - Vyshniy Volochek & Ostashkov
- Social Enterprise in Russia – Week 3 - Moscow & Aleksin
- Ostashkov Conference, October 2008
- Selected old blog entries
- Public Service Transformation
- Organisational structures - and restructuring
- Doing social enterprise
- Knowledge should be free
- Associates and trusted partners
- Джеф Кокс, информация на русском языке
Does the social enterprise movement lack leadership?
A new survey commissioned by UnLtd has found that if they had access to the right support about 1 in 3 people would like to be social entrepreneurs.
This is yet another confirmation of Dr Rebecca Harding's research on the numbers social entrepreneurs. Her figures suggested some time ago that there are over 230,000 'hidden social enterprises' in the UK, and that over a third of all new entrepreneurs would like to be social entrepreneurs.
It is also another confirmation of the staggering scale of the opportunity we have - and this to me is the area where we really lack leadership (not, as Liam Black recently thought, in defending existing social enterprises).
Our focus on a few kinds of social enterprise - those that happen to fit an official definition, or can be used to forward a government agenda - is blinding us to a much bigger picture.
I've also previously mentioned in my blogs here and in the Guardian Online the Third Sector Research Centre papers on measuring the scale of UK social enterprise (September 2010) and on the construction of the 'social enterprise' concept (forthcoming). These should have exploded once and for all the myth that there are only 62,000 social enterprises in the UK - yet I still hear this discredited figure trotted out by people who are supposed to be promoting social enterprise!
Nobody knows how many 'social enterprises' there really are because surveys have been shaped around competing definitions of 'social enterprise', so the numbers they come up with are, in fact, politically constructed. My own view, looking at the analysis, and including Rebecca Harding's 'hidden social enterprises', is that there are probably at least a third of a million people and organisations out there using business models and methods to achieve their social mission.
We need to reach out to them, and to all new entrepreneurs, by seeing ourselves as - and becoming - a dynamic and welcoming and flexible and outward-looking movement, rather than a defensive, static, walled-in 'sector'.