There are many different types of social enterprise business models and structures which vary according to their core purpose, ownership, management structure and accountability.
We support all types of social enterprises to start and succeed including:
- Community Enterprises: enterprises which serve a particular geographical community or community of interest and have representatives from the community on their board of directors.
- Social Firms: which aim to integrate people who might otherwise find it difficult in the mainstream job market, such as people with learning disabilities or mental health problems.
- Co-operatives: organisation owned, controlled, and run for the benefit of their members.
- Credit Unions: community based financial institutions providing savings and loan facilities for their members.
- Community Development Finance Institutions: providers of loans and other types of investment primarily for social enterprises and other small businesses.
- Development Trusts: community enterprises which aim to develop a community, usually through the ownership and management of property.
- Public sector spin-outs: independent social enterprises set up to deliver services that were previously provided by public sector organisations. Also known as 'externalised' services.
- Trading arms of charities: set up to undertake trading activity in order to raise money for their charity parent company e.g. charity shops, catalogues, training and consultancy.
- Fair Trade organisations: committed to ensuring that producers are paid a fair price for what they produce.
- Other types of social enterprise: businesses with social objectives as central as their economic objectives.
Atrium Health Ltd, Coventry
An employee led social enterprise delivering essential cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services for heart and lung patients.
First Honey Co-operative, Warwickshire
First Honey was established in 1994 by a group of Midlands’ beekeepers with the vision of starting a honey marketing co-operative, enabling members to work together for mutual benefit. The co-operative enables its members (independent beekeepers) to sell their honey at fair prices.