There is a rich social enterprise culture present in the United Kingdom. With the 2010 election of Prime Minister David Cameron, a platform policy of the U.K. Conservative Party known as the “Big Society” has been launched and aims to empower local community entrepreneurs. One of the five main objectives is to support co-ops, mutuals, charities and social enterprises by establishing a Big Society Bank, which will provide financing for social enterprises and other similar ventures. In addition, the University of Oxford boasts that the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship is the leading global entity for the advancement of social entrepreneurship.
Back in the U.S., the University of Washington Foster School of Business hosts the annual Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition, which was won in 2012 by a student team from the Copenhagen Business School with a solution to the social stigma and environmental problem of menstruation in the developing world. Read about their company and the other winners here.
Another U.S.-based organization that has a profound impact on the international social enterprise community is Ashoka, which has established programs in over 60 countries and supports the work of nearly 3000 Fellows. The first Ashoka Fellows were elected in 1981 in India. Read more about Ashoka’s approach to supporting global social entrepreneurship here.
The 2012 Social Enterprise World Forum, hosted by NESsT, is taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in October. NESsT was co-founded by an American and a Chilean in 1997 and is currently a registered charity in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Hungary, Peru, Romania, the U.K. and the U.S. Read more about the SEWF’s agenda and registration here.