The Young Foundation signs up to ‘taking back control’ – The Social Economy Alliance manifesto for an inclusive economy

Date: 5 May 2017

The Social Economy Alliance, representing hundreds of social enterprises, co-operatives, charities, investors, entrepreneurs, trusts and associations, including The Young Foundation, has today launched its manifesto for the General Election.

It sets out an ambitious, positive vision on how the new Government can harness the energy of businesses, community groups, charities and co-operatives to tackle the inequalities, divisions and lack of trust in the country.

Seizing on the opportunities and challenges of Brexit, the manifesto offers ideas to deliver a more inclusive economy and solutions to empower communities to truly take back control.

Ideas for the next Government include:

  • Realising the potential of business – with rewarding good business behaviour through tax incentives, tackling tax avoidance, improving tax transparency and socially responsible supply chains.
  • Making the most of Brexit – Government can completely remake state aid, competition law and procurement law to take into account the environmental and social impact of business.
  • Harness the buying power of the taxpayer – Government can insist that profits made from outsourcing are reinvested for the benefit of society.
  • Channelling the passion of communities – over a billion pounds of unclaimed assets can enable local groups to take projects they care about under community control, supporting people to build their own local economies and put power in their hands.
  • Tackle injustice and fairly reward the efforts of hardworking people – redirect tax breaks away from owners of unproductive assets towards entrepreneurs, workers and people investing in good causes.
  • Direct the power of government – to deliver an inclusive industrial strategy which ensures the economy works for everyone, inspired by the social economy.

The Alliance has been liaising with the major political parties and sending them these ideas over the past few weeks as they have been drawing up their manifestos.

Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK, said:

“Social enterprises are thriving, communities are co-operating to take control of local buildings, high streets and services; tens of thousands of people are investing in community energy, and employee ownership is empowering workers. This is an opportunity to reshape the boardrooms of Britain. It’s a chance to take back control and in a way that reduces inequalities, heals divisions and strengthens the country for everyone.”

Alastair Wilson, CEO, School for Social Entrepreneurs, said:

“Social entrepreneurs have the potential to unlock positive change for communities across the UK. I urge the next government to listen to them so we can build a better economy for all. This is a chance to reinvent capitalism for the 21st century.”

Glenys Thornton, CEO of The Young Foundation said:

“We are delighted to be part of this vital manifesto. The social economy is worth tens of billions of pounds to the UK economy. Civil society organisations employ 7% of the UK workforce – the same as the creative industries, and 17.5 million people own and control our 7,000 co-ops. We believe this way of doing business is fundamental to tackling inequalities, which is key to the Young Foundation’s mission. The new Government must therefore ensure it nurtures and grows this vital sector as a key part of putting the Great into Great Britain”.


Notes to Editors

You can download the Manifesto for an Inclusive Economy here.

For more information, contact or 020 3589 4959

About the Social Economy Alliance

The Social Economy Alliance brings together social enterprises, co-operatives, investors, charities and more. Our core members are CAN, Charity Finance Group (CFG), Co-operative Energy, Co-operatives UK, First Ark, Fusion 21, Impetus PEF, Locality, The National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), Social Investment Business, Social Investment Forum, Social Enterprise UK, UnLtd and The Young Foundation. Find out more at

About The Young Foundation

The Young Foundation is a research and action based institute with a formidable track record of confronting inequalities. We work across the UK and internationally to create insight and innovations which put people at the heart of social change. We do this through research, work with communities and social innovations. Together we have created and supported over 80 organizations including Which?, The Open University, Economic and Social Research Council, Social Innovation Exchange (SIX), School for Social Entrepreneurs, Uprising, Action for Happiness and Studio Schools Trust. Find out more at