FIGHTBACK BRITAIN, published this month, documents the largest analysis of the social enterprise sector in the UK. It has revealed that a new breed of younger social entrepreneurs are starting businesses in the country's most deprived communities. These social businesses are tackling deprivation and social problems whilst becoming accountable to their customers, involving them in decision-making.
In what is termed as "The start-up explosion", the report states that 14% of all social enterprises are start-ups, less than two years old – which is more than three times the proportion of start ups among mainstream small businesses. The recession, rather than putting people off this form of enterprise, is acting as a catalyst. Fightback Britain says:
"The UK’s economic woes have hot-housed the need for a business model that delivers sustainable economic growth while fostering social change and innovation. Damage to the reputation of important parts of the UK economy in the wake of the financial crisis, cuts to public services, and concern for how civil society can suffer cuts and continue to care for its most vulnerable members, have brought social enterprise to the fore."Hull and Holderness could be on the verge of its own enterprise revolution - the ingredients are all there:
- The recent announcements about the Enterprise Zone and the KC Invest fund;
- a recession-hit population in which deprivation and social problems have been highlighted;
- mass unemployment and the threat of unemployment convincing would-be entrepreneurs that now just might be the time to try something different.