2010 sector mapping


This report, the first detailed one since 2006, seeks to provide a picture of the Social Firm sector in 2010 and examine some of the changes to the sector in the last four years in the UK. Since the last report the sector has widened its focus to include other disadvantaged groups such as ex-offenders, homeless people and those who have previously been involved in substance abuse.

This report comes as a result of ongoing work to map the sector and is therefore not based on a snapshot in time but rather information gathered over time. As such it cannot be fully up to date: something that should be borne in mind when being read. Some of the collected data is incomplete (e.g. employment figures) and so the actual information collected has been used to inform sensible and realistic projections which may be of assistance but are therefore not completely accurate. The purpose of this mapping report is to provide as factual a picture as possible on the Social Firm sector: its size (people employed, turnover), growth and the issues faced in expanding, structure (legal form, industry sectors, geographical spread), its successes and thoughts on future challenges.

Some Mapping Highlights

  • The sector has grown by 32% since 2006
  • There are now 99 Social Firms and 82 emerging Social Firms
  • Company Limited by Guarantee is the most favoured legal structure
  • In England, Yorkshire & Humberside has the highest number of enterprises in the Social Firm sector (22) whilst the Eastern region has the highest growth rate at 150%
  • Supporting people with mental health needs remains the largest target employee group
  • The sector now includes employment for ex-offenders, the homeless and ex-substance abusers
  • 1064 severely disadvantaged people have found paid employment within the sector – 58% of its total workforce
  • Projected increase in employment of 62% across the sector since 2006
  • Top three business sectors are Catering, Recycling and Horticulture
  • Just seven business sectors represents 83% of Social Firms’ trading activities
  • 74% of Social Firms earn 75% or more of their income from trade
  • Double the amount of Social Firms trade nationally compared with the social enterprise sector as a whole
  • 87% of Social Firms have an earned income of up to £500k
  • The top 4 income earners all started out as supported factories

Click here to download the full report.

Tags:2010, mapping