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03 March 2023

The power of stats and stories: Five reasons why the State of Social Enterprise survey matters

Five reasons why the State of Social Enterprise survey matters

The State of Social Enterprise (SOSE) survey, which runs every two years, is live! We’re inviting all UK social enterprises to take part. We know social enterprises across coops, community businesses, start-ups and more get surveyed a lot. So, why should you give up your time for it? 


SOSE data helps drive policy change for social enterprise. For example, it informed public policy which led to the creation of Big Society Capital and Access – the Foundation for Social Investment, contributing to a social impact investment market of over £6.4bn. It supported Social Value legislation and underpinned calls for sector support during COVID.


It builds a powerful narrative for social enterprise – did you know that social enterprises generate £60bn GDP and 2 million jobs? That’s SOSE data. And we want to update it this year. 


It’s the UK’s largest dataset on social enterprise. Central government comes to us for this data. Social investors, national sector bodies, local and combined authorities – they all access this data to inform policy and practice. SOSE data is central to analysis such as the Adebowale Commission on Social Investment.


Analysis drives understanding – SOSE data is used by researchers and academics to better understand many areas of social enterprise, from rural ecosystems for social enterprise, to improving routes to market, the data is core to research across sectors, regions and impact areas.


Data for your social enterprise – SOSE provides a benchmark for social enterprises to better understand their own performance and learn from others. For the first time in 2023, SEUK members will receive benchmarked results from their survey data in the pilot run of our Better Business Benchmark tool.

We’ve simplified the survey this year. If you took part in 2021, you won’t be asked all questions as we’ll use data you’ve already provided.  


You’ll need info on your financial turnover, profits and staff demographics to hand – as well as an overview of how you generate income. The survey shouldn’t take more than twenty minutes.  

If you do one survey this year, please make it this one.  


All SEUK members and social enterprise contacts will be contacted by respected research company BMG research – look out for an email from them.


Not heard from BMG yet? Please drop BMG a line to confirm your interest – you can request a telephone call back, or do the survey online: