Coventry is part of Hidden Revolution

Community interest companies, cooperatives and community businesses…

These are just some of the forms used to describe social enterprises who are all are joined by a common bond – that of doing business for a good cause.

Social enterprises exist in nearly every sector from consumer goods to healthcare, community energy to creative agencies, restaurants to facilities management.  A recently published report by Social Enterprise UK entitled the Hidden Revolution, highlighted that there are around 100,000 social enterprises, contributing £60bn to the UK economy and employing 2m people. According to the report the top five cooperatives in the UK pay more tax than Amazon, Facebook, Apple, eBay and Starbucks combined.

Coventry is part of this revolution where social enterprises are becoming the future of business. Following the national trend, the social enterprise sector in Coventry is growing. Coventry was awarded a title of SEUK social enterprise city in 2016 and partnership of key organisations (CU Social Enterprise CIC, Coventry City Council, The Highlife Coventry, Priory Visitor Centre, Coventry & Warwickshire CDA, The University of Warwick and Voluntary Action Coventry) are driving the growth of social economy in the city through research, funding support and joint events.

Coventry’s social economy is young with 40% of social businesses operating for less than a year

Our 2017 annual survey mapping the social economy in Coventry highlighted that the sector is led by micro and small-medium businesses with two main areas of operation in Health and Wellbeing and Training and Education.

Results from 2017 Social enterprise survey

Results from 2017 Social enterprise survey

73 percent of consumers agree that they are more likely to buy from or engage with a business with a purpose beyond profit

Every year, as part of a national campaign, we celebrate social enterprises that are making a difference in our community by hosting a Social Saturday event. This year’s Buy Local, Buy Social Pop-up Market on Saturday 13th October 2018 saw over 400 visitors to the Priory Visitor Centre. Visitors from all around the world tried, tested, tasted and bought goods and services that benefit people in our local communities showcased by 23 stall holders.

CUSE Blog double

Arlene Burnett, Founder of Queen of Camellias, selling specialist organic teas and herbs at Social Saturday 2018.


42 percent of social enterprise are led by women

To celebrate their achievements, the Pioneers Post in partnership with NatWest organise an annual WISE100 list, which highlights 100 of the UK’s most inspiring and influential Women In Social Enterprise. Hundreds of social entrepreneurs from across the UK were nominated and gathered at London’s Coutts on the Strand on Monday 29th October 2018.  Coventry change makers Kirstie Kelly (Founder & CEO, Team Springboard CIC) and Stacey – Jade Mason (Founding Director, Creative Optimistic Visions) made the first-time nominees list with Carole Donnelly (Managing Director, Coventry Priory CIC) recognised in a list of women who were nominated for two years running.  Congratulations to all!


Kirstie Kelly of Team Springboard CIC and Stacey – Jade Mason of Creative Optimistic Visions at the WISE100 event in London

Join the Revolution

Put your social enterprise on the map – complete our 2018 Social Enterprise City survey by 5th December 2018 to be with a chance to win Christmas hamper of social enterprise goods worth £75.

Celebrate with us – Thursday 15th November 2018 is a global Social Enterprise Day. CU Social Enterprise CIC will be hosting a champagne breakfast event from 8.30-9.30 at the Enterprise Hub with a key theme around Impact. Book your place now and follow @CUSocEnt #WhoKnew #covsecity #socialenterpriseday campaign.


By Gabriela Matouskova, Business Development Manager, CU Social Enterprise CIC

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