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?