As you may know, our webmaster cooperative is classed as a Social Enterprise by gov.uk because it has social primary aims and isn’t run for shareholder benefit – we have neither shareholders nor employees, which screws up lots of surveys. Although its workers make a little money from it, I think it’s better than many Social Enterprises because it’s in common ownership rather than private ownership (which means, as I understand it, if we kill the company for whatever reason, its copyrights and so on would go to other common-ownership organisations, else fall into the public domain – the ultimate free software guarantee).
Social Enterprise seems very popular at the moment. We keep getting asked our opinion by both government (public sector) and other social enterprises. I think this is because most public sector bodies seem to struggle to get enough input from the third sector and most third sector bodies want to make sure they’re not squashing other bits of the third sector.
Next Thursday, I’m going to a “consultation to identify priorities for support for the South West’s social enterprises” but I’m really not sure what to say. I’m going to ask my cooperatives for suggestions, but I’d welcome suggestions from anyone else interested in social enterprise too. Any ideas?