The report finds that:
- The social economy has been shown to promote inclusive growth by creating jobs, strengthening skills and employability; building diversified local economies; and contributing to wider economic and institutional transformation.
- Successful social economy development often arises from an enabling context, or social economy ‘ecosystem’ of various elements of support provision and a high level of collaboration between actors, both within the social economy and the public and private sectors.
The social economy constitutes a range of organisations that have a core social mission, including social and community enterprises; voluntary and community sector organisations; housing associations; co-operatives and mutuals; informal self-help initiatives; social finance and support providers; and alternative business models.
The report develops several recommendations for how UK cities can engage the social economy to lead an inclusive growth agenda.
The project was undertaken by a team at Middlesex University and The Open University.