Social Enterprise Responds To Government’s Industrial Strategy

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Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK, has released the following response to the Government’s Green Paper on the Industrial Strategy:

“The Green Paper is aptly titled ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’ and the Secretary of State strikes a refreshingly collaborative tone in his introduction noting the paper is “a set of proposals for discussion and consideration”.

We are pleased to see social enterprise referred to, albeit briefly, in the ‘Supporting businesses to start and grow’ section, but this has to mean more than continued support for social investment.

BEIS’s task is to persuade all Departments to embrace innovation, intervention, and the opportunities and challenges that Brexit presents if the final strategy is to be more than a repackaging of what Government is already doing.

Surprisingly, there is no mention of the Shared Society and the PM’s vision for inclusive business in the document outside the introduction. The social contribution of business should run through the strategy; it very much feels like there is an Office for Civil Society-shaped hole in BEIS and never has the OCS’s move to DCMS felt more inappropriate.

Anyone hoping for a ‘shovel-ready’ Industrial Strategy will be sorely disappointed. Yet this is a strong starting point for a newly interventionist Government, and if Government is as genuinely committed to listening and it says it is, a welcome departure from what has gone before.”

Social Enterprise UK will be responding to the Green Paper consultation in due course.