Growing interest among UK charities in becoming social enterprises

by Astrid Zweynert | azweynert | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Monday, 15 October 2012 16:53 GMT

* Any views expressed in this opinion piece are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Cuts in local authority funding for services prompts many charities to think about becoming a social enterprise

UK charities are increasingly looking to become social enterprises as a solution to their funding problems due to cuts in local authority spending on services, with a significant rise in interest seen over the past year, a charity expert says.

“In the past twelve months we have seen a significant increase in interest from our partner charities about becoming a social enterprise, “ said Gillian Murray, chief executive of Pilotlight, a charity that brokers free business coaching for charities and social enterprises.

“With the cuts in local authority funding and changes in the way charities’ services are being commissioned it’s no surprise that charities are exploring the opportunities social enterprise can offer,” Murrray wrote on the Guardian website.  

Pilotlight and Social Enterprise UK on Monday launched a free guide for charities that want to become a social enterprise.

The guide examines issues that charities should consider if they are thinking about becoming a social enterprise, including legal structures and cultural changes.

The guide also includes legal advice from law firm Bates, Wells & Braithwaite, which specialises in advising charities and social enterprises.

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