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REALISE - Real Employment and Livelihoods in Social Enterprise

Partnership information




Britain's social enterprise sector is one of the most successful and vibrant in the world.  The social enterprise agenda is championed by the government and growing in scope and scale.  The government believes social enterprise has a key role in achieving many of its goals, including overcoming social injustice and exclusion. The social enterprise sector is diverse including development trusts, community enterprises, housing associations, social firms, and cooperatives. 

Social Enterprises are part of the "third sector" there are currently more than 55,000 social enterprises in the UK. Social enterprises face some of the same challenges as those faced by the wider business community but with the added complexity that a social enterprise has both a financial and or a social or environmental bottom line.

Social enterprises operate across all sectors of the economy.  Many operate in markets where the public sector is the main commissioner of services, such as health and social care (includes services targeted at disabled people), community transport, or waste management.


The aim is to change the culture of services supporting disabled people into employment through the creation of new work opportunities.  New employment opportunities will be created through the development of more commercial and sustainable Social Enterprises in Suffolk.  REALISE has brought together partners from different sectors who are experts in the fields of Social Enterprise/firm development, disability equality, learning and employment organisations, local authorities, health trusts and work groups providing services to people with disabilities. The Project will develop a coordination mechanism to ensure that the wide range of agencies involved make the best use of financial and other resource support available to disabled people.  REALISE will test modernisation strategies to ensure greater inclusion and will involve vulnerable groups in the partnerships development.


  • To Develop and implement modern services
  • To create more realistic working environments
  • To create more realistic training opportunities
  • To establish employment opportunities linked with sustainable business activities 
  • To develop an umbrella organisation which supports enterprises, provides services and assists with job creation and quality assurance
  • To develop a realistic strategy to support employment within Social Enterprises/Social Firms for disabled people through the different government agencies and address any gaps.

Target Groups

Social Enterprise, Disabled people 



Round 1 to Round 2

This development partnership was not involved in round one

Lead partner

Transnational partnerships


Action 2: 30 September 2007
Action 3: 31 December 2007

Equal theme

Social economy



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