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Social Enterprise

Published Tuesday, July 12, 2016

This note describes the make up of what is often called the economic third sector or social enterprise.

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This note describes the make up of what is often called the third sector or social enterprise. This is a category of social and economic activity that covers a great range of sectors. From funeral parlours, banking and retailing to health and football clubs with almost everything else in between. The well-known players include the Co-operative group and buildings societies such as the Nationwide, John Lewis and the Loch Fyne group.

The distinguishing features of social enterprise is that there is some form of control over the enterprise by its membership, and that the profits from the enterprise are primarily used to the common benefit of the enterprise. The note describes the size and characteristics of co-operatives, mutual societies, community interest companies and credit unions.

Commons Briefing papers SN07089

Authors: Tim Edmonds; Jeanne Delebarre

Topic: Financial institutions

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