Think Tanks

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Respublica sets out policy agenda for social enterprises

Venturesoc_1 A new report from Respublica, the think tank of Philip Blond, focuses on helping social entrepreneurs. It argues that only 1% of Britain's 238,000 social enterprises receive the support they need.

The report by Asheem Singh - The Venture Society - calls for a network of 'community lablets' across the country that would act as "incubators for new social enterprises by providing the basic infrastructure, advice and funding to dramatically boast the number of start-up enterprises."

Other recommendations of the report:

  • Social Labs would get the power to approve new flexible venture-lite structures for social start ups funded by community lablets.
  • The creation of a Bureaucracy Task Force that would cut the burden of regulation on early stage social entrepreneurs.
  • A switch in funding from existing social enterprise programmes to provide greater support towards start-up costs and local infrastructure.
  • In the longer term, the report backs the development of a capitalised social investment bank, targeted tax breaks for new investment vehicles and a community reinvestment act.
  • Formalise the process by which service delivering Whitehall departments pay for the demand reduction benefits of social ventures.
  • Place the responsibility for implementing this ambitious programme and new structure of community lablets and social hubs with the Cabinet Office.
The report concludes by recognising the dire state of the public finances and claiming that these changes can be made from within existing departmental budgets.

Full PDF here.


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