£1bn profit for UK social enterprises

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Bruce Gunn, director of Delivered Next Day Personally, one of Scotland's thriving social enterprises

The UK's biggest social enterprise report reveals a sector enjoying phenomenal growth

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23rd May 2017 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

UK social enterprises made almost £1 billion in profit last year.

The latest NatWest SE100 data report for UK social enterprises has revealed 57% of social enterprises reported growth in their turnover last year.

It suggests the sector is undergoing a period of impressive expansion, with average year-on-year growth coming in at 61%.

The report is the biggest analysis of growth, profitability and employment with UK social enterprises. It is based on the 2,120 members of the NatWest SE100, who had a combined turnover of £8.5bn last year.

Delivered Next Day Personally

£1bn profit for UK social enterprises

East Kilbride mail delivery and courier serivce, Delivered Next Day Personally (DNDP), is one of Scotland's thriving social enterprises. Founded on the principles of acceptance and inclusiveness, DNDP operates in a way that is unfamiliar to most businesses. By actively employing people with disabilities and long term health conditions, the company is living proof that often overlooked members of society can and will contribute if given the opportunity. 

A disability or health condition is not all that is seen by DNDP, the skills and abilities an individual has to offer are also recognised. Since its inception in 2012, DNDP has continued to grow and has provided employment and training for 60 people with 17 sustainable jobs. In the last year it's turnover has doubled to £250,000.

It is now exploring new business areas to develop this year. 

Social enterprises on the NatWest SE100 Index reported a combined total of £934 million in profit, with a significant proportion of this profit used to further their social or environmental goals.

The report found  the country’s leading social enterprises are growing at a phenomenal rate with average year-on-year growth within the 100 fastest growing enterprises of 932%.

It also suggests that as social enterprises mature, they can grow into multi-million pound ventures. The average turnover of enterprises under three years old on the Index is £634,000 whilst the average turnover of enterprises which are ten years old or more is £8m.  

Mark Parsons, head of community finance and social enterprise at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “The NatWest SE100 report reveals a social enterprise sector which is growing in both strength and maturity.

“As social enterprises continue to make a sustainable social impact to both disadvantaged and marginalised groups, they should feel buoyed by the positive news that year on year growth in turnover for established enterprises was 61%, whilst the Index also reveals social enterprises grow as they mature.

“Although the latest NatWest SE100 Index has revealed positive trends for the sector, it is only when you take a closer look at the inspirational work social enterprises delivers, that the true impact of the sector can be appreciated.”

The NatWest SE100 report also reveals trends from the sector across the UK, with the South West of England demonstrating the highest growth, whilst London hosts the highest proportion of social enterprises from the Index, with the largest total turnover of £2.3bn.

Geetha Rabindrakumar, head of social sector engagement at Big Society Capital, said: “It’s encouraging to see the overall growth in social enterprise across all regions of the UK. The use of social investment has grown over this last year and we hope that social investors will play an increasingly important role in supporting the growth and resilience of social enterprises of all sizes in future.”

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