Social Enterprise Business Support

Coloured umbrellasThe social enterprise sector is thriving and set to expand, enhancing commercial and community growth. Support tailored to the needs of this sector, and its stakeholders, will be critical to success. At Serco Employment, Skills and Enterprise , we are using our experience and knowledge to develop new programmes that increase the role of  social enterprise within local economic development.

Through our Social Enterprise Focus programmes we have taken a leading role in supporting social enterprises. We have helped them start up, plan for growth and market themselves, as well as forge collaborative networks and improve readiness to bid for public and private sector contracts.

We are now seeing important trends emerge, including the growing desire, even amongst the more traditional social enterprises and charities, to trade and become more financially sustainable.

Our programmes have demonstrated that there are still many possibilities. Social enterprises or communities are often well placed to deliver public services providing jobs, inclusion and social value. However, many find this arena too complex. It is important that we work together to bridge the gap between what public bodies need, and what social enterprises can offer. This requires new partnerships with social enterprises to develop innovative models of delivering public and community services, and it requires collaborative support to make it happen.

We know that in addition to delivering high quality services and reaching out to communities, social enterprises have the potential to compete with mainstream businesses, to innovate, export and inspire. We are developing partnerships that will provide the skills and expertise to make this happen and ensure that the sector cements its role at the centre of economic development.

“Social enterprises can transform communities and deliver positive change. As local authorities seek new approaches to service delivery then social enterprises can, with the right support, deliver significant value in this role.”
Caroline Angas
Social Enterprise Focus Programme Manager

63% of social enterprises
expect turnover to increase in 2-3 years


70,000 social enterprises in the UK
employ around a million people


£24 billion social enterprise
contribution to the UK economy


Business Support Contracts with a focus on Social Enterprise


Social Enterprise Focus Cornwall logo

Social Enterprise Focus Cornwall : Closed June 2015

Social Enterprise Focus Cornwall service officially closed in June 2015. It aimed to increase the number and size of contracts being won by facilitating business development, collaboration and engagement of potential product and service buyers. All support and activities offered through the project are paid for by the ERDF Convergence Programme and free to eligible clients and partners. Business assistance delivered by the advisory service is subject to EU ‘de minimis’ state aid regulations.

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Social Enterprise Focus Torbay logo

Social Enterprise Focus Torbay

The service supports at start-up and established social enterprises, supporting them to grow their organisations, through business planning, funding, marketing and many other aspects of business.

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Social Enterprise Focus Plymouth logo

Social Enterprise Focus Plymouth: Closed June 2014

The Social Enterprise Focus Plymouth service officially closed in June 2014. It was aimed at start-up and established social enterprises, supporting them to grow their organisations, through business planning, funding, marketing and many other aspects of business.

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Improve Your Resource Efficiency logo

Improve Your Resource Efficiency : Closed December 2013

The IYRE service officially closed on the 31st December 2013.
The service was tailored to business needs and offered 12 hours of free and impartial specialist environmental support.

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