A new guide has been published for those interested in starting a social enterprise, like Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant chain, the Big Issue and Cornwall’s Eden Project.

The UK is home to 68,000 social enterprises – businesses that, akin to charities, exist to make a positive difference.  But unlike their cousins in the charitable sector, social enterprises earn their income by selling goods and services, competing in the open market with private sector businesses.

The latest figures on Britain’s social enterprise sector show that it’s flourishing and experiencing an explosion: 1 in 7 of all social enterprises is a start-up, more than three times the proportion of start-ups in the mainstream SME business sector.  London is home to an even greater number, where 1 in 5 social enterprises is a start-up.

According to Social Enterprise UK, an upsurge in social enterprise start-ups is often seen when economic circumstances are difficult.

The material’s author is Social Enterprise UK and it is available here.