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Public Sector & Social Enterprise

Social enterprise policy

An understanding of local and national policy objectives and priorities is a great way to further knowledge of the sector and especially the issues and objectives that are being supported and promoted. It can link to new working and business opportunities

There are a number of policy areas and pieces of legislation which relate at varying levels to social enterprises. These include:

  • The Localism Act 2011 which aims to empower local authorities and local communities by devolving more decision making authority to them from central government while retaining the power to ensure that local decisions do not conflict with national priorities;

and the

At a more local level social enterprise development is part of strategic and economic development initiatives, including the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

 

Policy development

The Local Growth White Paper: realising every place’s potential published in October 2011 outlines a new approach to local growth, shifting power away from central government to local communities, citizens and independent providers. This White Paper sets out how the Government will put businesses and local communities in charge of their own futures, give greater incentives for local growth and change the way central government supports and maintains growth. The aim is to connect people to jobs, help them get the skills they need and equip local areas with the tools they need to create and shape dynamic and entrepreneurial local economies.

Social Enterprise UK works on policy issues relating to Social Enterprise and the Third Sector. They also produce information frequently about related consultations, papers and publications.

Local authorities and other public bodies regularly engage with social enterprises for delivery of services to meet their strategic objectives. The Social Enterprise Guide for People in Local Government published by Social Enterprise UK looks at how local authorities can engage with social enterprises to benefit the communities they serve.

 

Procurement and social enterprise

Many social enterprises successfully deliver services to meet the strategic objectives of local authorities and other public bodies through contracting arrangements with a public body.

New social enterprises often wish to engage with the commissioning and procurement process to secure contracts for the delivery of services of benefit to their client group.

Accessing contracts with either private or public organisations can be a way for a social enterprise to expand their market and sources of income. Information about becoming a supplier or service provider for West Sussex local authorities can be found on our procurement page.

Public sector professionals involved with commissioning and procurement often engage with social enterprise to deliver services.

 

Moving assets and services into social enterprise

In the light of national policy shift, in some areas services which are currently provided by public bodies are being moved through externalisation or spun out into management and/or ownership within a social enterprise business model, sometimes described as staff mutual.

Many assets held for the benefit of the public and the community are already held by charities and trusts and using other legal models. In recent years there has been a shift in policy to encourage moving assets into different ownership and management arrangements under the control of voluntary and community organisations, social enterprises and charities.

 



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