The Social Enterprise Coalition (SEC) has launched a guide for public bodies on buying goods and services from social enterprises.
More for Your Money, which is primarily aimed at local authorities, has been produced jointly with the New Economics Foundation.
Launching the guide at the Local Government Association Conference, SEC chief executive Jonathan Bland said: "Social enterprises offer public bodies a highly effective way to deliver value for money for their communities.
Increasing numbers of local authorities all over the UK are feeling the benefits that social enterprise can bring."
The guide asserts that social enterprise can help public bodies achieve extra social and environmental benefits.