Minister predicts £500m social enterprise boost

More public services delivered by social enterprises will mean extra sector funds, according to Liam Byrne

Third sector revenue from central government should increase by £500m over the next year because of a leap in the number of social enterprises providing public services, Cabinet Office minister Liam Byrne has predicted.

Byrne told delegates at social enterprise conference Voice09 in Birmingham yesterday that he was aiming to create 25,000 jobs in the social enterprise sector by expanding its role in public service delivery.

"I will personally be chairing a review of the Government's pipeline of projects with social enterprise to get any deal blockers out of the way," he said.

Byrne said he would be holding a social enterprise summit in partnership with business secretary Peter Mandelson to identify how the Government could give more support to third sector businesses.

Byrne said he believed social enterprise was "an idea whose time has come" and that the current downturn would cause people to have more respect for business that offered trust and an ethical framework.

"I predict social enterprise will be more influential in the new Britain that emerges from these difficult times," he said. "I believe that people will demand new answers. And one of the answers is that markets will need to have morals like yours.

"The country is going to look harder for ethos with its enterprise. It's going to look harder to see whether a business offers care and trust, not just cut and thrust."

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