Social Enterprise City

In 2013, Plymouth became the UK’s first Social Enterprise City. This prestigious award from Social Enterprise UK recognized that Plymouth is a hot-spot for social enterprise activity in the UK. The city is now developing as a global ‘social enterprise city’. We have one of the most active social enterprise networks in the country and a buzzing ecosystem of support for social entrepreneurs. Plymouth University was the world’s first officially certified ‘social enterprise’ university and all three of our higher education institutions are proud to be social enterprises.

Nearly ten years later, that city badge and subsequent investment has helped develop social enterprises in Plymouth. We estimate that over £10 million of investment and support for our social enterprises has been levered in by the city badge.

There are now around 200 social enterprises in the city working across a wide range of sectors including in education, health, arts, environment, food, finance, housing, business support, sport, social care and more. Collectively these businesses employ around 9,000 people and bring in an income of over £580 million.

There are mega-social enterprises such as the University, Plymouth Community Homes and Livewell South West. But there is also a burgeoning economy of smaller businesses with 33% more social and community businesses than our first survey in 2015. You can read the Plymouth Book of Social Enterprise Wonders to find out more about some of these amazing enterprises!

We recently completed a state of the sector survey in Plymouth to find out the impact social enterprise is having on the well-being and economy of the city. If you’d like to learn more about the amazing impact we’re having then you can read the full report here. Or you can download a summary full of uplifting and inspiring facts.

Learn more about the Places Project from Social Enterprise UK here.

Plymouth Social Enterprise Network