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What Is The History Of The Social Firm Movement?

The Social Firm movement in the UK is a relatively recent one. Inspiration was originally derived from developments in Germany and Italy where significant employment levels for disabled people had been achieved through the development and support of Social Firm businesses. Social Firms UK itself started as a European funded project, with partners in these two countries, and initially commenced raising awareness about the model in this country with the help of German and Italian partners in 1997.

From 1999 to 2006 Social Firms were defined as market-led enterprises set up specifically to create good quality jobs for disabled people.  (From 2007 that definition was wided to include people suffering other disadvantages in the labour market.)  Initially, when Social Firms UK began life as a project in 1997, there were five Social Firms and an unidentified number of emerging Social Firms. By the end of 1999 this number had increased to 22 Social Firms and a further 50 or so emerging Social Firms. In 2002 the number mapped in the sector had increased to 51 Social Firms and 128 emerging Social Firms, employing a total of nearly 1700 employees of whom approximately 45% had a disability. During 2005 a more detailed mapping process has been carried out and, due to introduction of a new system of assessment, may take longer to become publicly available.

The timing of creating a national support agency for Social Firm development has proved to be invaluable, as the environment surrounding employment provision for people disadvantaged in the labour market both in attitudes and funding climate has resulted in a steady increase in enquiries surrounding this model.

What Is The History Of The Social Firm Movement?

Back to What Is A Social Firm?

>What Is A Social Firm?

>What Is The Difference Between Social Firms And Social Enterprises?

>What Are The Main Issues Facing Social Firms At The Moment?

>How Do I Set Up A Social Firm? Is There Any Guidance On The Structure, Finance And How It Should Be Run?

>I Have An Idea For a Social Firm. How Can I Tell If It Will Work?

>Is There An Accreditation System To Show You Are A Social Firm?

>What Types Of Training And Business Support Are Available To Social Firms?

>How Can We Externalise Our Project From The Local Authority? Are There Any Examples Of When This Has Been Done Successfully?

>I Run A Social Firm. Can You Recommend An Insurance Company Sympathetic To Social Firms?

>Is There A List Of Consultants Who Have Expertise In Social Firms?

>Where Can I Find A List Of Social Firms In My Region?

>How Can I Find A Job In A Social Firm?

>What Work Options Are There For A Disabled Person Following A Long Period Of Unemployment?

>Where Can I Find Information About Benefits Allowances And General Benefits Advice?

>What If A Private Investor Wants To Get Involved In Setting Up A Social Firm?

>Are There Organisations Equivalent To Social Firms UK In Other Countries?

>I Am Coming To The UK And Am Interested In Comparing Social Firms Here To Those In My Country. Is It Possible To Visit Any Social Firms?

>What Are The Issues About Having Trustees With Learning Difficulties?

>What Is A CIC (Community Interest Company)?

>What Is A Social Entrepreneur?

>Why Should I Join Social Firms UK?

>How Do Social Firms Sit Within The Spectrum Of Employment Provision For Disabled People?

>What Are The Likely Other Sources Of Finance For Social Firms?

>Why Was The Definition Of A Social Firm Broadened To The 'Severely Disadvantaged' In 2006

>What Is A Social Enterprise And What Types Are There?

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