A group of social enterprise and social finance organisations has launched an alliance to develop a unified policy position in the run-up to the 2015 general election.
The Social Economy Alliance will consist of 15 bodies, including the infrastructure organisations Social Enterprise UK, Co-operatives UK, Locality and the Community Development Finance Association. It will also include the Social Investment Forum, itself an alliance of social investment bodies.
A meeting involving these organisations will be held today at Coin Street Community Builders in London to begin the process of setting the policy goals the organisations will work towards.
The new organisation "will exist as a formal collaboration between organisations until polling day in 2015", a joint statement from the members said.
The statement said the alliance would be housed at Social Enterprise UK’s London Bridge headquarters, and that its aims are "to radically affect the way all political parties formulate policies in advance of the 2015 general election" and "to develop and lobby for policy that will strengthen the social economy in the UK".
Peter Holbrook, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, said that a "shift in the plates of the UK economy is happening" and that it was necessary to develop a policy voice to respond to this.
"There is an urgent need for a business voice that presses for further advances on issues such as low-carbon economy infrastructure, support for community enterprise and support for community finance organisations to tackle the rise of payday lenders," he said. "We will press for things such as extended use of social enterprise and cooperative models to combat the rise of fuel and transport poverty, and support for business methods that reverse the current trend of concentrating greater and greater portions of wealth in a few hands.
"We need a voice for the social economy. Today we are launching it."