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Www.socialfirmsuk.co.uk Introducing Social Firms.

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Presentation on theme: "Www.socialfirmsuk.co.uk Introducing Social Firms."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introducing Social Firms

2 The Wider Context  Social Firms are one type of Social Enterprise.  All social enterprises are trading organisations with social and economic goals.  Social enterprises are ‘more-than-profit’ organisations.

3 Social Firms - History  Origins -1960’s in Italy and Germany.  European networking growing since 1980’s and CEFEC (Confederation of European Social Firms Employment Initiatives and Social Co-operatives) formed in  Social Firms UK founded in 1999.

4 Social Firms Social Firms have 3 core values: Enterprise ~ Employment~ Empowerment

5 Enterprise in Social Firms  Businesses that trade  Earn >50% of income through sales  Must have an appropriate legal form  Profits are (principally) re-invested to grow the enterprise

6 Employment in Social Firms  At least 25% of employees have a severe disadvantage  All staff have employment contracts  Market wages are paid  Volunteer agreements in place

7 Empowerment in Social Firms (1)  Maximising ability and potential  Assisted to manage stress  Staff confidentiality  Social and economic integration

8 Empowerment in Social Firms (2)  Emphasis on training and employee development  Acknowledged as a good employer  Organisational structure is enabling

9 Social Firms UK  A charity promoting the development of Social Firms.  Is a member organisation:  Social Firms and Emerging Social Firms are Full members.  Others have Associate, Group, Corporate, Network or Individual membership.

10 Social Firms Growth - businesses When Social Firms UK was founded I n 1999 there were 6 Social Firms. We know of:  Over 180 businesses in the Social Firm sector -  99 Social Firms and 82 emerging Social Firms  The estimated number of FTE jobs created is 1,900. Around 1000 of these are held by severely disadvantaged employees

11 Social Firms Growth - businesses  Catering, Recycling, Training (as a market product) and Horticulture are the most popular sectors.   Catering and Horticulture are easy to start but competition is high and seasonality in horticulture has implications for job stability.

12 Some Social Firm Examples  Travel agency: Travel Matters Enterprises   Health food retail outlet – Daily Bread (Cambridge)  Contract gardening and nursery - Solstice Nurseries  Caterers  Catering2Order –www.catering2order.comwww.catering2order.com To see more Social Firms and trade with them go to:

13 Social Firm Features  Tend to be small organisations  Niche markets - product or contract  Need ongoing support in early years  Make use of external expertise (business and product)  Initially led by an entrepreneurial spirit (Social Entrepreneur)  Ideally external and independent of parent organisation

14 A Social Firm Is:  A sustainable business supplying a quality service/product  A supportive environment (not a care delivery service)  Risky/Challenging  A long term commitment (3-5 years start-up typically)  Costly (in time, energy and money)

15 A Social Firm should be:  A quality working environment  An opportunity to maximise potential  A model of best employment practice  Part of a spectrum of other training & employment related services

16 A Social Firm Is NOT:  A quick fix answer to all problems  Easy  Going to create lots of jobs in a short time  A training project or sheltered workshop  Day care on the cheap

17 Finally : With:  the right business idea  the right people  sound financial support  hard work the possibilities for success are good. Business failure rate is 10 times lower among Social Firms in UK and Europe than the small business sector as a whole.

18 For More Information Contact


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