Social Enterprise UK, the national body for social enterprise, and the Cabinet Office are collaborating to publish open data, so that the public have access to data on spending by local authorities and central government on social enterprises.
The release of the data is expected to increase public understanding as to the range of services offered by social enterprises.
As part of International Open Data Day, a new dashboard was launched to assist users interpret the data.
According to Social Enterprise UK, it is estimated that 15% of SMEs are now social enterprises and employ over 2 million people across 180,000 enterprises.
Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson said “the UK has the world’s largest social enterprise sector and providing data on over 10,000 businesses will give a powerful insight into how social enterprises work.
“Giving access to data will open up opportunities and demonstrate how these organisations invest their profits locally so that businesses can have a positive impact on communities and the environment.”
Peter Holbrook CBE, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, commented “the growing social enterprise sector provides public authorities with a new way to do business and we can now see how they are taking advantage of it.
“The data initiative will lead to greater accountability throughout public bodies, in regards to their respective spend and procurement.
It is expected that the release of new data on the Social Enterprise UK website will increase the accountability of government spending and also set precedents for use of the Social Value Act.