Social enterprises and charity trading arms operating in Sheffield have become major players in the region's economy, generating more than £41m a year, according to a new survey.
The research, commissioned by Sheffield's community enterprise agency Scedu, has revealed that the number of registered charities, charity trading arms, social enterprises and voluntary and community groups operating in the area has ballooned over the last two decades. This has led to a huge expansion of the social sector, with many organisations involved in city-wide initiatives ranging from education and health to arts, recreation and tourism.
"Sheffield's social economy is now a force to be reckoned with," said Scedu's chief executive Fergus Beesly.
The research, which is part of a nationwide project to map the growth of social economy in the UK, also showed that many of the projects had created significant employment opportunities. The area's social sector now accounts for £16.5m in wages each year.