Multi-Million Pound Social Enterprise Fund Unveiled

A £73 million funding boost for social enterprise was announced today by Health Minister Ivan Lewis. The money in the social enterprise fund, to be spread over four years, will go towards supporting and encouraging the development social enterprises in health and social care.

Ivan Lewis said: “This money will deliver a real boost to the social enterprise sector and demonstrates our real commitment and support of this way forward. Social enterprises will have a key role in the reform of how health and community services are delivered. We are underpinning these reforms with proper financial backing.

“Social enterprises have enormous potential to transform the way in which health and social care services are delivered.  Social enterprise has a strong track record of revolutionising services in other sectors, involving staff and users in the design, delivery and management of services.  We hope to see this transformation replicated in health and social care.”

Jonathan Bland, Chief Executive of the Social Enterprise Coalition said: “We welcome the fund. It’s vital that social enterprises get access to investment to operate effectively and deliver improved services – for the benefit of both employees and patients.”

Speaking at the Voice 07 conference, Ivan Lewis also announced the 25 successful “pathfinder” projects who can apply for a share of a £1 million pound start up fund announced by Patricia Hewitt, the Secretary of State of Health, in October.  He said: “We had over 5,000 hits on the Department’s social enterprise website in only a month, which shows how much interest there was in the pathfinder programme and the social enterprise investment fund.

“The 25 projects selected will cover a wide range of innovative services that work for the benefit of individuals and the community more widely.  Each in some way brings entrepreneurial approaches to delivering health and social care services. This funding will give them access to a package of support that will include financial help and access to wider support such as business advice and training.  The learning from pathfinders will be shared across the health and social care sector.”