What are they?
Businesses with primarily social objectives whose profits are reinvested in the business or local community. Well-known examples include Jamie Oliver's Fifteen restaurants, The Big Issue magazine and the Eden Project horticulture centre.
The Social Enterprise Unit acts as a focal point and coordinator for policy making affecting social enterprise, as well as promoting and championing social enterprise
Are there examples in the NHS?
The nurse-led Cuckoo Lane Practice in west London has become part of a local social enterprise company in order to provide general medical services under an Alternative Provider Medical Services contract.
What is the DH doing?
A Social Enterprise Network has been established and a wider Social Enterprise Unit will be developed within the DH to coordinate policy on social enterprise. From April 2007, a fund will be available to provide advice to social entrepreneurs developing new models to deliver health and social services.
www.socialenterprise.org.uk and www.kingsfund.org.uk for a recent report and details of a related conference.