According to a report released by Social Enterprise UK, social enterprises are going to grow and multiply, contributing x million to the UK economy each year.

But what IS a social enterprise I hear you cry? An operating business that serves to make a sustainable profit, whilst serving a social purpose. In a way, a regular business, with a heart for doing good. These can come in a massive variety of social purposes: employing the homeless, community initiatives to tackle healthy eating, getting victims of abuse to creatively express themselves; the list is endless.

According to the report, social enterprises are outperforming conventional business in growth and innovation in the UK. They also put them to shame in the diversity stakes, with 41% of enterprises run by women, and 34% having BAME directors.

So why are they growing so rapidly? In an era of corporate social responsibility and increased awareness of community, investors are looking to social entrepreneurs to create sustainable businesses for the future that help tackle a plethora of social problems. And unlike charities, these enterprises turn a profit, so they are certainly an attractive investment opportunity. There’s an incredible array of support open to social enterprises, one of which is the Croydon Enterprise Loan Fund. We work to help local entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses and help build a responsible and sustainable local economy for Croydon. So what are you waiting for? Apply now:

Read the rest of SEUK’s report here.