For too long councils have had a choice merely between doing things in-house or outsourcing services to a small number of big players.
Relatively few have taken advantage of the benefits of social enterprise – that of a committed workforce with a clear purpose of working towards the good of wider society rather than maximising profit.
It is hard to conceive of a future in which social enterprises do not make up a greater proportion of public sector provision. That said, many have faced immense barriers as they start upon their journey.
Procurement rules, organisational form and buy-in from staff are among the difficult hurdles fledgling organisations have to navigate - small wonder that many lose out to the big boys with more experienced teams.
We hope this collection of guides into how social enterprise can flourish will offer them support, helping to redress the imbalance. This can in turn contribute to both a happier, more engaged workforce and better public services.
Nick Golding, acting editor, LGC