Social enterprise

A social enterprise is a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose, in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit. Social enterprises often evolve from community based organisations but can also be developed to meet specific community needs or in response to market opportunities.

Examples would be public sector offshoots (often set up to provide services under service level agreements), charities setting up trading arms, and staff takeovers and buy outs.  

This section includes an overview of organisations providing advice, funding and investment for social enterprises.

Who to go to for advice

Social Enterprise London

Founded in 1998, Social Enterprise London is an agent for change, run by social enterprises, for social enterprises. It works to unite, inspire and lead London’s social enterprise movement.

SEL offers a diverse package of training, consultation, advice and events, covering a wide variety of business needs.

Telephone: 020 7022 1924 for further information.

Social Enterprise Coalition

The Social Enterprise Coalition represents a wide range of social enterprises, regional and national support networks and other related organisations .

Visit the Social Enterprise UK website, or telephone: 020 7793 2323.

Kensington and Chelsea Social Council

KCSC have a Social Enterprise Development Programme which is open to all voluntary and community organisations in Kensington and Chelsea.

Depending on the level of support required, the programme will provide you with appropriate training, mentoring, one to one advice and development support.

Visit the Kensington and Chelsea Social Council website, or telephone: 020 7243 9800.

Portobello Business Centre

Portobello Business Centre is the borough’s enterprise agency, partially funded by The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, they offer information, free advice and confidential guidance from qualified experts on the following issues:

  • Accessing finance
  • Debt and cash-flow management
  • Recruitment & Redundancy
  • Support for innovation or changing your business model
  • Accessing local supply chains and finding new local business opportunities

Visit the Portobello Business Centre website, or telephone: 020 7460 5050.