Claire Dove becomes crown representative for social enterprise and voluntary organisations

Claire Dove, WISE100 woman and former Social Enterprise UK chair, is the new crown representative of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.

A government announcement today stated that her role will be to work alongside government departments and the Crown Commercial Service to strengthen the sector, support the upcoming Civil Society Strategy and encourage voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to operate more commercially.

She succeeds Michael O'Toole who stood down in 2014. The post has been vacant since then.

Ms Dove said: "It's an honour to take on this role. Millions of people benefit from the work that charities and social enterprises do and I cannot wait to get started to ensure this sector continues to go from strength to strength."

Ms Dove is CEO of Blackburne House Group. She was a government-appointed Social Enterprise Ambassador and she has been instrumental in influencing government strategy for the social enterprise movement, ensuring that Social Enterprise UK had a voice within Westminster and Whitehall and advised on the Social Value Act. She was awarded an OBE for her work in the sector in 2013.

In October 2017, she was included in the "Spotlight 10" of the WISE100 list of the most influential women in social enterprise, social investment and social innovation, created by Pioneers Post and the NatWest SE100.

The minister for civil society, Tracey Crouch, said she was looking foward to working alongside Ms Dove and the Crown Commercial Service to support the sector. She added: "Claire will bring a lot of passion and experience into this role."

Commenting on the appointment, Peter Holbrook, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, said: "In these financially tight and uncertain times, the government needs to do more to embrace the work of social enterprises and their compatriots in the wider VCSE sector."

He added: "We know that Claire will use her new role to take our arguments to government and build the crucial dialogue that is needed between it and the VCSE sector so that its potential is fully realised."

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport explained that crown representatives help the government to act as a single customer and work across departments to ensure a single and strategic view of the government's needs is communicated to the market, identify areas for cost savings and act as a point of focus for cross-cutting supplier-related issues.

> We talk to Claire Dove about her inspirational role models and her experiences of racism and sexism in the forthcoming issue of Pioneers Post Quarterly, our influential and beautiful print magazine. Click here to subscribe now.