If you’re a budding social entrepreneur but are yet to read Santander’s 2017 State of Social Enterprise Report, you’re missing out on some very encouraging statistics.

According to the report, social enterprises are outperforming mainstream SMEs when it comes to turnover growth, business optimism, innovation, start-up rates and diversity in leadership – to name but a few metrics.

This is very encouraging news for the social enterprise sector, and may explain why social start-ups are now coming through at a rate of three times that of mainstream SMEs.

Some other headline figures from the report include:

  • over 70% of social enterprises made a profit or broke even within the last year;
  • twenty-five percent of social enterprises are under three years old (which is there times the proportion of start-ups compared to SMEs at 8%); and
  • four in ten social enterprises are five years old.

Social Enterprise UK’s chair, Lord Victor Adebowale, expressed his delight at the findings while commenting on the launch of the report.

“Social enterprises show us what the future of business can look like,” remarked Victor. “These are credible businesses, competing in the open market but set up in a way that addresses some of the biggest issues we face. From homelessness and substance abuse to mental health and social care – social enterprises are working on the front-line creating opportunities and reducing inequalities. They are showing traditional businesses how social impact and profit can go hand in hand. If we’re to meet the challenges and uncertainties of the coming years, we should look to the social enterprise model for inspiration and guidance on how we can create an economy that works for everyone.”

To download the report, click here.