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Topical Issues

Social Enterprises - Overseas Examples

Sunderland Home Care Associates, U.K.

Employees: 160 Sales: ₤ 1.6 million

  • Offer personal and domestic help to elderly and disabled people in their own homes. Includes help with bathing and dressing, cleaning, cooking, shopping etc.
  • In 1970s, seven women started a co-op called Little Women, looking after a shop selling food. Through development work, Sunderland Home Care Associates was eventually established in 1994. Became employee owned in 2000.
  • Positive social outcome – (a) empowering staff, in particular women; staff turnover of 3.5%; (b) potential for social enterprises to deliver quality care services.
  • Similar success models of care providers e.g. Community Foster Care, Shepshed Carers etc.

Bulky Bob’s, U.K.

2002 Turnover: ₤ 620,000

  • A wholly owned subsidiary of FRC Group, a charity devoted to social enterprises. The Board is chaired by Graham Morris, former chief executive of Rolls Royce. Quality service - higher call rates for collection given the public feel-good factor to the social cause.
  • Positive social outcome – (a) 89% success rate of getting long-term unemployed into jobs; (b) at least 30% of the items Re-used or recycled

More information:

Userful Links

Social Enterprise Unit in the Small Business Service of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), U.K.

“Social Enterprise – a strategy for success”

Social Enterprise Coalition (SEC), UK’s national body for social enterprises

Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative