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Social Enterprise & The Homeless

May 15th, 2012

This podcast is one of three that we are producing that addresses the ways different types of social enterprise can address disadvantage. In this Podcast we focus on homelessness and unemployment. In doing so, we hope to draw out the inherent tensions between social and economic goals, and to understand ways in which social enterprises can balance these in order to achieve their social goals.

To discuss this with us we have Simon Teasdale who has been involved in the field of social enterprise for 15 years, beginning at the Big Issue in the North in the early 1990s. Since then he has been employed as a researcher at the Institute for Volunteering Research and Crisis, while lecturing part time on the University of East London’s BA Social Enterprise. He moved to Birmingham in 2009 to take up a position as research fellow within Third Sector Research Centre who has helped us developed our podcasts and events around social enterprise and marginalised groups.

Social enterprises have achieved widespread recognition over the last decade. In England the notion that social enterprises successfully combine social and commercial goals led to them being given a prominent role in a range of policy area. This has been particularly apparent in the homelessness field where a policy discourse presents social enterprise as a way to help homeless people access secure employment and so escape social exclusion.

It is important to note the strong policy message that employment is the sustainable solution to homelessness, and that work integration social enterprises are primarily placed as a vehicle that can facilitate this solution.