I’m beyond excited to coordinate this edition of 99% in particular. In many ways, my journey to social enterprise has been a “long time in
the making”. I first discovered the concept of merging the dynamism of the private sector with the passion of the charity sector during a
course at LSE over 10 years ago. Social enterprise was in its initial stages, the tone was aspirational rather than descriptive of a promising
alternative to business as usual.
Fast Forward to August 2020. At the Social Enterprise World Forum I was able to witness a vibrant global movement of social entrepreneurs
from incredibly diverse backgrounds displaying unprecedented levels of resilience during these difficult times. In fact, research
shows that in situations of economic downturn social enterprises contract less than other companies. There are many reasons for
this: customer loyalty; predominantly small structures that allows them to pivot quickly to adapt to market trends; value driven staff that
increases their efforts during challenging times; the nature of the services and products they offer, which tends to respond to real needs
rather than ostentatious consumption, to name a few.
The good news is that there seems to be consensus among major political parties about the capacity of social enterprises to contribute to
local and regional economic development, including social inclusion. The socially driven mentality of the new generations of consumers
coupled with the rise in support from national and local governments are undoubtedly positive signals.
The Edeey project aims to support young entrepreneurs and to inspire them to consider social entrepreneurship as a viable alternative to
creating wealth, while having a positive impact on their communities. Our programme is free and open to anyone and it is aimed to give
you practical knowledge, skills and support to take your idea to the next level or to apply for work in the over 99,000 employer social
enterprises in the UK. By completing the self-assessment tests successfully you will be able to get CPD accredited, also free of charge,
thanks to the generous support from Erasmus + and the British Council.