Research Paper

SMEs as Social Enterprises: Regional Disparities, Access to Finance, Strategic Intentions, and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Research Paper No. 97

Associated Themes
  • Business Growth
  • COVID-19
  • Finance

This report presents new findings regarding the social orientation, geographic distribution, outreach and financing of UK social enterprises. Using data from the 2016-2020 Longitudinal Small Business Survey, the report describes the key characteristics of social enterprises and compares these to those of commercial SMEs. We observe that SMEs that are: smaller; exhibit grow ambitions; located in non-urban areas; female-led; minority ethnic-led and operating in the social/services sector are more likely to be social enterprises compared to commercial SMEs.