18,000 social enterprises could face closure, reports SEUK

22 Feb 2023

14% of social enterprises expect to reduce turnover and staff or to close according to Social Enterprise UK’s latest barometer report. An equivalent of 18,000 social enterprises are at risk of closure if the economic downturn continues.

The causes are the same as most businesses – rising inflation and energy prices. This is compounded by an increase in demand for the services social enterprises deliver.

SEUK’s report mirrors our own Cost of Living survey which highlighted 97% of social sector organisations have been affected with rising costs of goods and salaries.

Despite the challenging context, 76% of social enterprises reported that the level of profit/ surplus they invest into their social/environmental mission has remained the same or increased. This shows the importance of the social enterprise business model to invest in our communities and deliver greater social value than profit-driven businesses.

Robin Chu, Director of Strategic Projects at SSE – “Considering over two-thirds of the social enterprises we support are based in the 40% most deprived areas in the UK – this report is a stark warning for the sector and UK in general.

We know social enterprises can reach parts of the country private-sector organisations can’t creating local jobs, supporting hard to reach areas, and critical to the economic and social recovery of the UK.

To seriously Level Up Britain, we need to invest now and appropriately in social enterprises in disadvantaged areas.”