Cities, the social economy and inclusive growth

Document type
Vickers, Ian; Westall, Andrea; Spear, Roger
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Date of publication
15 June 2017
Community Development and Regeneration, Social Policy, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

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This summary report examines the role of the social economy in bringing about inclusive growth that generates more and better jobs in UK cities, particularly for those at risk of living in poverty.

Key findings:

  • The social economy has been shown to promote inclusive growth by creating jobs, strengthening skills and employability; building diversified local economies; and contributing to wider economic and institutional transformation.
  • Successful social economy development often arises from an enabling context, or social economy ‘ecosystem’ of various elements of support provision and a high level of collaboration between actors, both within the social economy and the public and private sectors.

The social economy constitutes a range of organisations that have a core social mission, including social and community enterprises; voluntary and community sector organisations; housing associations; co-operatives and mutuals; informal self-help initiatives; social finance and support providers; and alternative business models.

This report develops several recommendations for how UK cities can engage the social economy to lead an inclusive growth agenda.

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