News special: Social Enterprise Day - Ed Miliband on the Social Enterprise Action Plan, to be launched tomorrow

Helen Warrell

What do you want the plan to achieve?

Only one in four people knows what social enterprise is, so part of the task for this plan is to bang the drum for social enterprise and make it part of our national culture.

What are the barriers to social enterprise?

There are cultural barriers and advice barriers. Business Link could do much more for budding social entrepreneurs. There are some gaps in the finance market, too.

And then there is the issue of fairness in procurement so that social enterprises have a level playing field with the private sector when it comes to government commissioning.

Does a 'level playing field' sometimes mean tipping the balance in favour of social enterprise?

No. What it's about is service commissioners understanding better what social enterprises can do. People are naturally risk-averse, and it's easier to commission from a conventional private sector supplier.

Will there be a role for social enterprises in the London Olympics?

I am keen that the 2012 Olympics, which is going to be a great showcase for Britain, is also a great showcase for social enterprise, and we are working very closely with all the relevant parties, including Social Enterprise London, to make that a reality.

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