Cabinet Office seeks to boost social enterprise

The Cabinet Office has brought in an agency for a three-year offensive to promote the concept of social enterprise.

Hanover has been briefed to target the public, professionals, investors and the procurement industry to highlight the value of social enterprise as a business model. It will also handle a recruitment drive for social enterprise ambassadors.

The agency, headed by MD Charles Lewington, will work with the Office of the Third Sector, based in the Cabinet Office, and the ­Social Enterprise Coalition.

‘Social enterprise is at the heart of Gordon Brown’s thinking. It is going to be in the news and will change the way that business is done,’ said Hanover director Sarah Richards, who is leading the account. She reports into the Cabinet Office social enterprise steering group.

Social enterprise is a relatively new term for a type of business that has existed for over a century. While conventional businesses distribute their profit among shareholders, in social enterprises the surplus goes towards social aims such as fair trade, vocational training for disabled people or environmental causes. At least half the income of a social enterprise is derived from trading rather than subsidy or donations – which differentiates social enterprises from charities.

• The Office of the Third Sector has brought in its first head of comms. Nicola Raine was formerly a comms manager in the policy unit. She reports in to director general Campbell Robb.

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