Social Entrepreneurship receives Legislative Support in U.K.

British MP Chris White’s mission to provide legislative strength to social entrepreneurship in the U.K. has finally yielded results with the House of Lords passing his Private Member’s Bill on this issue. The bill paves the way for social value to be a part of the way public services are commissioned in the U.K.

The bill, which will now become law, urges public organizations to pay attention to how public service contracts may be leveraged to improve socio-economic and environmental well-being of the communities.

Chris White issued a statement after the successful passing of the bill, which said that the process to reach up to this stage had been long but totally worth the effort. The bill is expected to help social enterprises, charities and community organizations win and deliver public service contracts.

White said: “The bill will, I hope, help to start a culture change in the public sector and ensure that we consider the full value of the services that we use, utilise the best that civil society has to offer and maximise the use of public money.”

The Private Member’s Bill has received widespread support from organizations such as Social Enterprise U.K., the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action, the National Council for Voluntary Organizations and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organizations, apart from extensive political support.

Peter Holbrook, the CEO of Social Enterprise U.K. said: “Our taxes shouldn’t be a vehicle for the upward redistribution of wealth. We expect this legislation to put the brakes on firms who want to cream excessive profits from taxpayers’ money.” The bill is expected to result in a new wave of ‘responsible capitalism.’

Holbrook added: “As a result of this law, public bodies will be the first to showcase what responsible capitalism really looks like. They will have the freedom and authority to commission based on what else a provider can offer society, as well as competing on price and quality.”

Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, Jon Trickett, said: “I hope that this is just the start of social value being introduced throughout all government commissioning, and I urge the government to set out a clear national social enterprise strategy as an important next step.

“By asking public sector bodies to consider how they can improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of their areas, a more sustainable and efficient public service will develop which holds the needs of its users at its heart.

Source: Social Enterprise Live

Photo Credit: michelini