In the article, I give a brief overview of the Social Enterprise sector in the UK and comment on the impacts of social enterprise on economic development and, specifically, job creation. The main points that I make are that:
- Many social enterprises operate at the margins of the labour market, so their impacts on general unemployment caused by the economic crisis and industrial restructuring are not always significant
- The barriers to becoming a social entrepreneur are no less high than to becoming an entrepreneur in the private sector.
- Some of the most important lessons to be learnt from social enterprises are:
- How to support marginalised individuals and groups into the workforce
- How to involve employees in firm decision-making
- How to grow businesses whilst devoting a higher than average proportion of turnover to wages, training and development.