Social enterprise update: Peter Holbrook on the new faces in government

Plus: the 10th birthday of community interest companies

Peter Holbrook
Peter Holbrook

- It's good to see some friendly faces in the new government. We should welcome Greg Clark as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. He has a strong understanding of and commitment to the sector. I'm also pleased to see Anna Soubry appointed as minister for small business, which should help to elevate the profile of social enterprise in the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. Welcome also to John Penrose, who becomes Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office.

But we can expect a turbulent few years ahead. We can expect to see a bitter battle between the government and housing associations, whose roles as independent social enterprises in our communities will be challenged by Right to Buy Mk II.

- It's been a busy time in the social enterprise diary. Greenwich, in south London, has been a hive of activity during its Social Enterprise Festival; Croydon, also in south London, celebrates its appointment as a Social Enterprise Borough with a Social Enterprise Week; and Salford, in Greater Manchester, gained Social Enterprise City status with an endorsement from a Nobel laureate, Professor Muhammad Yunus.

- Finally, we recently marked the 10th birthday of community interest companies. More than 10,000 CICs registered over that period and the numbers continue to grow. It's with sadness that we say goodbye to the first CIC regulator, Sara Burgess, who departs in September.

Peter Holbrook is chief executive of Social Enterprise UK

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