What is a social enterprise in the UK?

A social enterprise in UK definition:

  • Has a social mission core to their purpose
  • Generates the majority of its income through trade, not through grants or donations
  • Reinvests the majority of its profits towards the social mission

What is the British Council social enterprise work comprised of?

Government engagement and policy

To deliver UK leadership in supporting governments and policy influencers to create an enabling environment for social enterprises to succeed.


To deliver UK leadership in training and business consultancy to support social entrepreneurs and social enterprises to develop, grow and scale through training, mentoring, consultancy and access to investment. Programmes include: Business and Investment Readiness Programme; Leaders for Social Impact: the Active Citizens Journey; Changemaker Stories and Impact


To support social entrepreneurship to become embedded in the curricula and ethos of higher education institutions – promoting strategic research and collaboration opportunities as well as innovative schools programmes. Programmes include: Lasallian Social Enterprise for Economic Development Programme


To embed social enterprise approaches in international development programmes, and to pursue contract opportunities utilising a social enterprise approach. Programmes include: Balloon Ventures; EU CSO SEED