Social Firms operate in any market sector and they all offer an inclusive workplace environment where people are valued for their abilities, encouraged to participate and supported to achieve. People undertake meaningful work and contribute to the success of a real business.
Social Firms can act as a stepping stone for some people on their way to open employment, or serve as the ultimate employment goal for others who would have difficulty retaining a job in a mainstream company.
Social Firms significantly contribute to social inclusion, economic activity and health improvement. Because they are a business and earn a proportion of their income through trade, they are one effective solution for the employability and employment of people who experience significant barriers to work.
“I grew in confidence and independence and supported myself and my team”
of offenders enter employment upon release from prison
Centre for Mental Health. Employment support and addiction: what works. 2013
- of SME’s have an owner with a disability 9%
- of the workforce at least in a social firm will have equalities issues 25%
- of disabled people are not in employment* 50%
- of people who are not in employment are not disabled* 25%
Scottish Government. Small Business Survey. 2012, 2014
*Niace. Ten Policies for Ten People. 2013
Working in a Social firm
Social Firms are an opportunity to:
- Test the water and try working in a supportive environment, where people are understanding of your disability but focus on your ability
- Adjust to a work routine and build up stamina
- Achieve a job with real pay and all the associated social and economic benefits
- Progress through the Social Firm – some people start off as trainees and move on to become supervisors within the business
- Move in to the open labour market – for some a Social Firm is a stepping stone into mainstream employment but without the time limitations and pressure of some other initiatives
Read the stories of participants from our members: