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The Social Enterprise Partnership

Partnership information


The european partnersAim

The Social Enterprise DP aimed to develop infrastructure and build capacity in the social enterprise sector.


The wider objectives of the DP were to:

  • Raise awareness of social enterprise models and their value.

  • Improve the performance of existing and emerging social enterprises.

  • Improve and build effective support structures for social enterprises at national and regional levels.

  • Create new tools and materials of strategic importance to the sector.

  • Influence the social enterprise and the wider social inclusion and enterprise policy agenda.


    The DP brought together all the leading national social enterprise bodies including Co-operativesUK, Development Trusts Association, Social Enterprise Coalition and Social Firms UK. The DP partners were some of the key national bodies in the field. The project was needed as it enabled national social enterprise organisations to work together to respond to key obstacles/barriers facing the social enterprise sector, including lack of awareness, a fragmented support structure, a need to demonstrate value and impact of social enterprise approaches and a lack of professional development programmes in the sector.

    The project benefited social enterprises and their support bodies throughout the UK. Programmes were delivered in 7 regions (Scotland, Yorkshire and Humber, South East, North East, West Midlands, London & Wales), via the regional structures of the national partners. As well as building regional infrastructure and raising awareness, a whole series of activities took place to support social enterprises including the development of an inter-trading web-site, action research in procurement, piloting national materials in Q&I and training and delivering business support.

    Target Beneficiary Groups

    The programme was aimed at business advisers, consultants, development workers, project officers, managers and other professionals working with or for social enterprises.



Transnational partnerships


Gerold Schwarz, Social Enterprise Partnership Ltd,


Action 2: 30 June 2005
Action 3: 14 November 2005

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Social economy


New models were set up for starting new social enterprises.

Access to business support for social enterprises was improved.

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