Huge boom among health and social care enterprises

The RBS SE100 Index, which monitors the progress of the UK's social enterprises, today launched its quarterly report – revealing that health and social care social enterprises are growing faster than any other sector.

The turnover of health and social care sector social enterprises has grown by an average of 121 per cent over the past year, according to the latest RBS SE100 Index Quarterly Report

The index lists 1,033 social ventures according to a scoring system based on their individual growth and social impact. The March 2014 quarterly report, released today, found that the average growth for all organisations in the index was 42 per cent year on year.

The combined turnover of  all organisations on the index wa £11.5bn, and the largest enterprises in the index by turnover were housing providers, with Sanctuary Group coming top with an income of £432m, followed by Places for People (£369m) and L&Q Housing Trust (£368m). 

The report found that health and social care was the largest sector in the index by number of organisations, with 15.8 per cent of SE100 members stating that this was their primary business market. 

These organisations were not found to be reliant on grants or fundraising, with 97 per cent of their income coming from local authority or health service contracts, compared with 36 per cent for the whole index. 

The fastest growing health and social care enterprise was the Institute of British Sign Language, which grew its turnover by 493 per cent from £6,000 to £36,500.

The report found that the top ten largest organisations in the health and social care sector were all spin-outs, with Peninsula Community Health named as the largest, with a turnover of £130m. However, the report’s findings suggested that the initial spin-out growth spurt might be over – with the fastest growing spin-out only reaching eighth place in the growth leader board for the sector. 

Jonathan Lewis, CEO of one of the health and social care spin-outs in the index, Bromley Healthcare, which has a turnover of £41m, said he had never experienced a time of so much opportunity before. “I’ve worked in big private sector companies and high growth environments, but this is different, there’s an awful lot going on – the markets are really opening up,” he said. “We could go for at least £100m of tenders over the next year.”

Andrew Laird, co-founder of specialist mutuals and spin-outs consultancy Mutual Ventures, said that spin-outs were now growing “slowly and steadily”. He added that it was likely that the next area of growth would be spin-outs working on partnerships to bid for big contracts against established outsourcing giants such as G4S and Serco.

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