Three quarters (74%) of those running social enterprises would vote for Britain to stay in the European Union (EU) if a referendum were held, according to new research.
The survey, carried out by Social Enterprise UK (SEUK), found that only one in seven (15%) who would vote for Britain to leave.
Social enterprises are businesses with a social and/or environmental mission which reinvest their profits.
There are approximately 70,000 social enterprises in the UK, employing nearly a million people and contributing £24 billion to the economy.
67% worried by Brexit
Of the social enterprise leaders surveyed, 67% said they would be worried if Britain left the EU because of access to European social funds; 54% said they would be worried about access to European markets; and 43% said that they would be worried about the possibility of the Scottish Government (who are keen to stay as a member of the EU) pushing for another referendum. 1 in 8 (16%) said they were not worried about a departure.
Two-thirds (63%) said there are no advantages for their social enterprises of Britain leaving the EU.
However, some expressed positives about a departure: 24% said less social and environmental regulations (red tape) would be beneficial, and 21% said they would have more direct access to global markets (because the EU currently negotiates on behalf of Britain).
The survey also found that:
- 58% social enterprise leaders said that the future of their social enterprise would not be at risk if Britain left the EU, compared with 22% who said it would.
- 33% of social enterprises employ non UK EU nationals.
- 18% of social enterprises export to the EU, while 15% export to countries outside of the EU.
- 36% of respondents said that their social enterprise would not grow if Britain left the EU, 40% said it would make no difference to their growth, and 10% said their social enterprise would grow.
Peter Holbrook, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, said: “As the Prime Minister seeks to negotiate a better deal for Britain, we were interested to find out what those running social enterprises thought of Britain’s membership of the European Union and how they would vote in a referendum.
This research shows that the majority of social enterprise leaders surveyed would prefer to stay in the EU, and perhaps unsurprisingly, not being able access to European funding would be a concern for some social enterprises if Britain were no longer a member of the EU.”
Half of charities surveyed said they do not have a digital strategy and only 9% said they have been through digital transformation and embedded it
Government, funders and large charities must take urgent action according to new analysis by Lloyds Bank Foundation
Charities are being reminded of the need for secure mobile working policies
The six different classifications are based on an archetype analysis of the income and expenditure types in charities