About Skills for social entrepreneurs

Skills for Social Entrepreneurs is a British Council project that provides international learning and networking and aims to create partnerships across the public and private sector and civil society organisations.

Through this programme, we want to engage social entrepreneurs in the UK and across the world to look for new ways of doing business for social purposes. We are:

  • working with social entrepreneurs, communities, schools and universities, think tanks, government agencies and NGOs
  • providing opportunities to network and develop partnership ideas through international events and study tours to and from the UK
  • developing training programmes to support social entrepreneurs in increasing the impact of their work
  • exploring funding schemes with partners to create more investment opportunities in social entrepreneurship.

 What is a social enterprise?

A social enterprise is a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners. Being entrepreneurial is much more than just closing a deal. It is also about creating the ideal: empowering a community and solving social problems.

Join us online

Being part of Skills for social entrepreneurs means your social enterprise becomes a part of a growing international network.

Join the world’s largest network of social enterprises and social entrepreneurs created by the Guardian in partnership with the British Council and get insight, advice and best practice from the community.

The Social Enterprise Network aims to connect and empower socially-minded people, and help them generate greater positive impact in the real world. Registration is free.

Our materials

Freer Spreckley, who delivered our Social Enterprise Planning Course, wrote two toolkits for social entrepreneurs that have been translated and adapted by our colleagues from CEDRA, Cluster for Eco Social Development.

Short videos from the international conference on social entrepreneurship on our YouTube channel.

Local activities

Conference on Social Enterprises in the Republic of Croatia: Opportunities and Challenges, 17 November 2009

The conference was organised by the Office for Cooperation with NGOs of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and British Council Croatia. The guest speaker from the UK was John Bromley, Director of the National Social Marketing Centre.

Understanding and Developing Social Enterprise for Civil Society Organisations, March 2010

The two round training programme aimed to increase civil society organisations’ capacity for social enterprise at local and regional level. Training was delivered by Social Enterprise London for representatives of organisations that receive institutional support from the National Foundation for Civil Society Development, and representatives of partner organisations of the National Foundation on the Regional Development Programme.

Regional training for trainers on Social Entrepreneurship in South-East Europe, July 2010

Held in Belgrade with six Croatian participants, the training was targeted at representatives of civil society organisations and representatives of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

The 2nd conference of the Croatian Donors Forum, September – October 2010

The conference was organised by the National Foundation for Civil Society Development, British Council Croatia and the US Embassy with guest speakers from the UK: John Bromley, Director of the National Social Marketing Centre, and Phil Tulba, The Young Foundation.

Social Enterprise Planning Course, November 2010 – February 2011

The three module course was delivered by Local Livelihoods’ trainer Freer Spreckley and local trainers.

Skills for Social Entrepreneurs Attachment Scheme, January – March 2012

Eleven persons attended two-week study visits to partner organisations, social enterprises and institutions, promoting and developing social entrepreneurship in the UK.

International Conference on Social Entrepreneurship, July 2012

Organised by the British Council and the Ministry of Labour and Pension Systems, the conference gathered, among other local stakeholders, members of the working group preparing the Croatian national strategy for the development of social entrepreneurship, representatives of UK social enterprises and organisations promoting and developing social entrepreneurship.