The Civil Society Strategy sets out a long term vision for how government will work for and with civil society, and recognises the importance of responsible business and social enterprise in creating meaningful social value for civil society and the UK economy.
To build on the UK’s reputation as a global leader in social enterprise, this government continues to champion procurement for social value, support campaigns that raise awareness about the positive impact of purposeful businesses, build the social investment market, and support social enterprises to address issues at scale.
For example, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has committed £3million to supporting the growth and sustainability of mutuals. This includes a package of support announced in January 2018 worth £1.7million to help new mutuals to emerge and existing ones to grow. The Department for Business, Economy and Industrial Strategy has also invested over £56m in the network of 38 Local Growth Hubs across England. In 2017-18 Growth Hubs helped over 130,000 businesses, including social enterprises, and over 8,000 individuals to start-up, thrive and grow. A further £12m has been committed for 2019-20.
The Business Support Helpline also provides trusted and impartial advice to businesses across England. In 2018 it helped around 31,500 businesses, of which 65% were entrepreneurs and start-ups. The government continues to develop online support through GOV.UK, ensuring businesses including social enterprises can access the key information they need on running their business any time they wish.