The British Council – Examples of impact fo Social Enterprises

Ethiopian social entepreneur KIbret Abebe Tuffa making a point at panel held by the British Council at the European Development Days on the role that social enterprise can play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.  © Courtesy of EuDevDays

How do we and our partners support the growth of social enterprise? Here are some specific examples.  

Training and mentoring 

  • We have trained over 27,900 social and creative entrepreneurs through our Global Social Enterprise and DICE programmes.  
  • In Kazakhstan, we partner with Chevron to equip social entrepreneurship pioneers with the skills, knowledge and support network to create sustainable solutions to problems in their communities. 
  • Our programme with Diageo in India sought to foster gender equality and economic empowerment by cascading training to 4,000 women social entrepreneurs.
  • In Indonesia, we have supported the development of community social enterprises focusing on eco-tourism.
  • Through our Business and Investment Readiness programme in Ghana, we brought together UK and Ghanaian organisations to co-develop an investment fund that can support impactful social enterprises. 

Social enterprise in international development 

  • With the EU we launched a project in the Philippines to strengthen civil society participation in policy reforms and promote job creation, SME development and social stability via social enterprise.
  • In partnership with the EU, we have delivered substantial programmes to support social enterprise in countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka. 
  • We are delivering social enterprise training programme in Morocco to support youth employment and address some of the root causes of instability.  

Social enterprise and education

  • Our Social Enterprise in Schools programme has reached over 42,200 students in countries as diverse as Greece, Jamaica and Kazakhstan. It enables pupils to gain hands-on experience of social enterprise and develop knowledge and 21st century skills in citizenship, critical thinking and innovation. 
  • With Plymouth University we published a pioneering 12-country research study that examines how and why so many universities are collaborating with social enterprises.
  • In Mexico, we trained 300 higher education students from 20 universities who will deliver social enterprise lessons in English in schools in the State of Mexico.   
  • We published a comparative study and five in-depth country reports on social innovation and higher education in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam.

Research and publications

  • We have published over 40 surveys, guides and reports on social enterprise, social innovation and the impact economy. 
  • These include over 20 ‘State of social enterprise’ surveys that provide a summary of the current size, scale and scope of the social enterprise sector in countries around the world.
  • Our Social enterprise and job creation in Sub-Saharan Africa report finds that social enterprises are more likely than traditional SMEs to provide employment and training opportunities for youth, women as well as poor and vulnerable people.
  • We published the first global survey of the impact of Covid-19 on social enterprises.
  • In 2015, we, SEUK and the World Bank published Think Global, Trade Social about the key role social enterprise and social investment can play in delivering more equitable development. It features a foreword by Prof. Muhammad Yunus. 
  • We have conducted research across six countries on the role of social enterprise in supporting women’s empowerment.  

Find all of these publications in our Reports section.

Raising awareness of social enterprise

  • We co-hosted the 2019 edition of the Social Enterprise World Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which had an estimated media reach of 100 million.
  • In Vietnam, we collaborated with Hanoi TV on a 52-part television series about social enterprise. 
  • We raise awareness of social enterprise and impact economies through ‘Global Perspectives on Social Enterprise’, our collection of articles, podcasts and videos with Pioneers Post
  • We work with Social Enterprise UK to promote consumer awareness of social enterprise through campaigns such as #WhoKnew and #BuySocial. 
  • We contribute to the global conversation on social enterprise and the impact economy on Twitter (@SocEntGlobal) and Instagram (britishcouncilsocialenterprise).

Policy and government support

  • With United Nations ESCAP we co-host the Asia Policy Dialogue on social enterprise and social investment which brings together senior officials and advisors from 14 countries in Asia.
  • In Vietnam we collaborated with policy makers and state-affiliated organisations to support the passage of the country’s first law to define and promote social enterprise. 
  • We and Social Enterprise UK supported Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry in the formulation of the Ghana’s first Social Enterprise Strategy.
  • In Greece we helped authorities implement a national Social and Solidarity Economy strategy.
  • We advised the European Commission’s Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship and contributed to a European Action Plan for the Social Economy and Social Enterprises.

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