What is a Social Enterprise?


A business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose.

Traditional for profit businesses distribute their profit among shareholders, in social enterprises any surplus goes towards one or more social aims (such as combating poverty, obesity, isolation etc) which the business has.

According to SEUK There are around 100,000 social enterprises in the UK who employ over 2 million people and contribute £60bn to UK GDP, this is a 5% share.

With reduction in budgets for local services, social enterprise have taken on some of what authorities cannot and there are many who think this sector will only grow with an increasing need for the most vulnerable people. Thankfully there are caring, innovative people who can come up with a different way to help not only their communities but also the economy as well.

Types of Social Enterprise

There are a number of different types of social enterprise:

Community Enterprises: enterprises which serve a particular geographical community or community of interest and have representatives from the community on their board of directors.

Social Firms: which aim to integrate people who might otherwise find it difficult in the mainstream job market, such as people with learning disabilities or mental health problems.

Co-operatives: organisation owned, controlled, and run for the benefit of their members.

Credit Unions: community based financial institutions providing savings and loan facilities for their members.

Community Development Finance Institutions: providers of loans and other types of investment primarily for social enterprises and other small businesses.

Development Trusts: community enterprises which aim to develop a community, usually through the ownership and management of property.

Public sector spin-outs: independent social enterprises set up to deliver services that were previously provided by public sector organisations. Also known as ‘externalised’ services.

Trading arms of charities: set up to undertake trading activity in order to raise money for their charity parent company e.g. charity shops, catalogues, training and consultancy.

Fair Trade organisations: committed to ensuring that producers are paid a fair price for what they produce.

Other types of social enterprise: businesses with social objectives as central as their economic objectives.

Support Us

Find a Social Enterprise

If you are looking to shop more ethically or sustainably or want to keep what you spend in the local community take a look here at the amazing organisations in and around Keighley.

Support the campaign

Help support not only the campaign to make Keighley a social enterprise town but also show your support for the people who are making a difference in Keighley.

Add your social enterprise

Do you run a social enterprise or a business that gives back to the community in or around Keighley? Click here to add your organisation to the growing movement.

News & Events

Keighley Bids Social Enterprise Town Status

Keighley Bids Social Enterprise Town Status

We are in the news! Read all about our bid to become a social enterprise town in the Keighley News. https://www.keighleynews.co.uk/news/19507974.keighley-bids-social-enterprise-town-status/   Support UsGet in touch

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Why is Keighley bidding to be a social enterprise town?

Why is Keighley bidding to be a social enterprise town?

Our Aims - Why we decided to go for this We want to see Keighley thrive by: Building awareness of social enterprise Get consumers, local businesses and the public sector ‘Buying Social and Buying Local’ Attract new finance and funding into Keighley for social good...

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From Class Room to Zoom!

From Class Room to Zoom!

January 2021 saw HART Yorkshire receive a welcome funding pot direct from The National Lottery Community Fund to help our organisation build our resilience in a time of Covid. This funding has enabled us to upgrade our website, increase our social media presence and...

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