Social Enterprise and Homelessness – Sustainability or Social impact?

Over the past fifteen years supporting disadvantaged people into employment through social enterprises has become increasingly prevalent in the UK. In March 2012 it was unveiled as one of the 5 key principles underpinning the Government’s Social Justice Strategy.

Despite an increased focus on work as a route towards recovery or out of poverty there has been very little study of the social impact, or the financial sustainability, of the social enterprises charged with making that vision a reality. There has been even less research into the relationship between the sustainability of a social enterprise and the level of exclusion faced by those it’s trying to help.

This research explores the reality behind the strategies. Ultimately it attempts to answer three simple questions:

  • Can social enterprises support adults with multiple needs into employment?
  • Can they do so sustainably?
  • And if so, what is the best model for doing so?
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