THE Social Enterprise Coalition UK (SEC) has been awarded a three-year grant of £ 450,000 from the Department for Trade and Industry.
The grant has to be matched by funding raised from other sources. The money will be used to build an organisation that will be a national voice for the sector.
SEC comprises of leading organisations that promote social enterprise throughout the UK. These businesses are ones that are distinguished by their social aims, participatory ownership and management structures and also by the way in which they use surpluses for the benefit of employees, consumers and the local community.
In Europe as a whole it is estimated that 3.5 million jobs are provided by social enterprises.
Jonathan Bland (above) the newly appointed Chief Executive of SEC said: "This is a very important time for the development of social enterprise. It is vital that we develop our capacity to share information and knowledge and to communicate about the issues relating to social enterprise in a coherent way with Government and other key players across the UK.
"This grant allows us to get started with building a new national organisation that can do this."
Stephen Timms MP, Minister for Social Enterprise, said: "The sector is going from strength to strength but more needs to be done. It is vital that social businesses get the support they need to maximise their potential."
Mr Bland's appointment of SEC was welcomed by chair Baroness Glenys Thornton, who said: "Jonathan's broad and extensive experience in advising, developing and working with social enterprises will strengthen the Coalition's mission.
"He will provide invaluable support to the social enterprise sector and more importantly the coalition members."