Brighton and Hove has a national reputation for creative thinking and groundbreaking initiatives. In October 2007 we were acknowledged as the UK’s most sustainable city in Forum for the Future’s Sustainable Cities Index, ranking top of the country’s 20 largest cities according to three criteria – our ‘environmental impact’, ‘quality of life’ and ‘future proofing’.
Social enterprise, with its ability to contribute to economic prosperity alongside broader social and environmental benefits, has a vital part to play in enhancing this reputation. We aim to put Brighton and Hove at the forefront of social enterprise initiatives in the UK.
We already have a solid foundation of social enterprise on which to build, with 2007 research suggesting that there are over 110 social enterprises in the city, with a collective turnover of about £21 million. They currently employ around 1,260 people and use over 3,000 volunteers a year. Around 33% of organisations in the city support employment or training for groups at risk of labour market disadvantage, and 52% employ a staff member from these groups, whilst nearly 30% have a core environmental purpose.
These established social enterprises are already having an important impact which can be built upon and supported towards long-term viability – better for people, planet and profit.