logo small



Seebohm Hill - Connecting social entrepreneurs and social investors to deliver innovative ways of meeting social need

Does my social enterprise look big in this survey?

Does my social enterprise look big in this survey?

The results of a recent research exercise in which we looked at social enterprises in North West England has highlighted some issues that are of relevance to anyone who uses survey data to inform decision made about organisations operating within the social economy.

While trying to analyse the capacity of the sector to be able to take on the types of funding being offered by the social finance market, we stumbled upon the realisation that survey data drawn from membership organisations such as the social enterprise networks may miss important differences between the wide range of types of organisations that make up the membership.

The key conclusion that we draw from this study is that loan funding is not a suitable way of financing the majority of social enterprises, particularly if the minimum loan amounts are £50,000 or more.

Social enterprises are too small and financially immature to be able to take on the commitment required to support regular loan repayments. Capital needs to be more patient than 3-5 year repayment terms if social enterprises are to develop their business models in a sustainable way.

Read the summary article here and see the full research report here.