Creating a culture of social enterprise: where next?

Creating a culture of social enterprise: where next?
Office of the Third Sector

Having commissioned the Central Office of Information (COI) to undertake independent market research and strategic analysis in to social enterprise, the OTS has published a presentation of the findings. The work looked at current levels of understanding and awareness of social enterprise, and how to attract new people to the sector.

Work to date, such as the Third Sector Review, has indicated that confusion and lack of understanding is a major short term barrier to the growth of social enterprise. To probe this further the OTS commissioned COI to undertake a programme of independent market research and strategic analysis to investigate current understanding of social enterprise, the motivations of key audiences who might become involved with social enterprise if they knew more, and to suggest what approaches could be made to improve this.

The main conclusions of the work are that:

    * Social enterprise is poorly understood, so needs a more recognisable identity, and that a campaign approach could also be adopted to cut through confusion.
    * The sector needs to be repositioned within the economy, to be more clearly identified as credible business option, and distinguished from the voluntary sector.
    * To attract new talent to the sector, a segmented approach is needed to help focus on people with strong entrepreneurial business acumen and clear social drive.

The OTS will use this research to inform future programmes of work to address the issues raised in partnership with key stakeholders.

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