Communication remains the key

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Social enterprises are being urged to do more to communicate who they are and what they do.

The call comes from Britain’s largest regional community development finance institution, the Sheffield-based Key Fund, which says that although three out of four people would prefer to use a social enterprise, only one in five can identify a social enterprise correctly.

Matt Smith, from the Key Fund, said: “The findings are a wake-up call that this growing sector needs to communicate who they are and what they do more clearly.

“If the majority of people would rather use an ethical service but can’t differentiate between a social enterprise, a private business or a public sector service, social enterprises could be missing out.”

“Although it’s true that in the current economy, social enterprise is increasingly important, there is too much confusion about the sector.”

The Key Fund is itself a social enterprise and has been providing loans and finance. In the 10 years since it was established, the fund has backed 2,000 organisations.