Social enterprise update: Peter Holbrook on the review of the social value act

Plus: Francis Maude heads to Scotland and Ed Miliband affirms his commitment to cooperative values

Peter Holbrook
Peter Holbrook

The government published its review of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 in February. The review was led by the social enterprise convert Lord Young of Graffham. It was disappointing that the review did not recommend the introduction of statutory guidance to underpin the act, and there was little support for extending it to goods and works. But it was encouraging to see some recommendations to support the country's growing number of social enterprises and to review the act again in two years' time.

It's good to see that Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, will be in Scotland in March to promote the export and international opportunities for social enterprises through the Britain is Great campaign. Our recent report with the British Council shows that 11 per cent of social enterprises are becoming more international. It's welcome that the Cabinet Office recognises the positive global impact social enterprises can have.

The words "social enterprise" finally emerged from the mouth of Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, in February – for perhaps the first time since he was Minister for the Third Sector many years ago. He affirmed his commitment to cooperative values and to supporting plans for businesses at risk of closure to mutualise. Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society, recently affirmed the Conservative Party's commitment to small businesses and social enterprises. The Social Economy Alliance is gaining traction; it's not too late to join.

Peter Holbrook is chief executive of Social Enterprise UK

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