What are social enterprises?

Social enterprises are businesses that tackle social and environmental problems. They create jobs and generate income like other businesses, but instead of channelling their profits to owners they reinvest them to support their social mission. In doing so, they are improving people’s lives in our communities and societies.

Our Global Social Enterprise programme

We promote the development of social enterprise and social investment to help foster a more sustainable, inclusive and prosperous future for us all.  

Our programme draws on UK expertise, striving to share best practice and create opportunities between the UK and other countries. Currently operating in 24 countries and working with a host of international and local partners, we provide social entrepreneurs with: 

  • training 
  • business consulting and mentoring
  • access to funding and investment opportunities
  • study tours
  • international networking 

We also conduct research and organise policy dialogues, academic exchanges and public awareness activities which promote social enterprise and social investment. Social Enterprise is a social and economic movement that is growing rapidly across the western world particularly in the UK, Europe and the USA. A new generation of entrepreneurs is redefining business by creating enterprises that create social value parallel to profit. The British Council is a global leader in developing social enterprises especially in Asia.