What is a social enterprise exactly?

A shot along the south bank river side with trees, lights and the river Thames.

Find out what a social enterprise actually is? And what a social enterprise does... 

A social enterprise is a business that wants to make the world a better place. The goal is to make a profit, much like a traditional business, but all of their profits are reinvested into the local community or back into the business. Social enterprises come in all shapes and sizes and they exist in nearly every sector. There are over 100,000 social enterprises in the UK, contributing £60 billion to the economy and employ over two million people!

Socialenterprise.org.uk defines a social enterprise as businesses that:

  • Have a clear social or environmental mission that is set out in its governing documents.
  • Are an independent business and earn more than half of your income through trading (or are working towards this)
  • Are controlled or owned in the interests of your social mission
  • Reinvest or give away at least half your profits or surpluses towards your social purpose
  • Are transparent about how you operate and the impact that you have

Coin Street is a social enterprise working in Waterloo and North Southwark in London. We provide opportunities and spaces for people to lead their own change, with far- and wide-reaching activities, we promote enterprise, creativity and lifelong learning. This could be anything from providing employment, giving families and children the best start in life, exercise, housing or delivering programmes and activities.

Most people who pass through the Coin Street site don’t know we exist and that’s a shame because our story is one of inclusiveness and diversity. About culture, community and commercial success. About how we work together to create an inspirational neighbourhood – today, tomorrow and forever.