Anna Kucinska
24 June 2014

UK social enterprises join forces to win public service contracts - the National Consortium of Social Enterprises (NCSE)

The National Consortium of Social Enterprises (NCSE) aims to unite the sector to make it easier for social enterprises to win public service contracts. The NCSE has been created in response to demand from public service commissioners in England and Wales who are keen to have more social enterprises involved in delivering services. The NCSE is run by three organisations, all social enterprises themsleves: Social Enterprise UK, Social Firms UK and 3SC.
3SC wins and manages public sector contracts on behalf of third sector organisations. To date they have won contracts worth over £60 million for charitable organisations and they will be using this expertise to bid for public service contracts on behalf of the NCSE, as well as seek out other opportunities for NCSE members to be included in public sector supply chains.
Social Firms UK is the national membership and support organisation for the development of the Social Firm and Work Integration Social Enterprise (WISE) sector in the UK. These are employability-focused social enterprises that believe that everyone has the right to be employed and support those furthest from the labour market.
Social Enterprise UK is the national body for social enterprise. This includes running effective campaigns for NCSE members and to lobbying on the sector's behalf, building networks between social enterprises and raising the profile of people and social enterprises in the sector.
The NCSE is growing: more than 500 social enterprises have registered and the NCSE is now starting to prepare its first bids for public service contracts. The ongoing programme is constantly seeking out contracts to create opportunities for social enterprises.
The latest opportunity involves Transforming Rehabilitation - the government's complex restructuring of the probation service. It is opening up the provision of services to low and medium risk offenders to private companies and voluntary sector organisations on a Payment by Results basis.  
In order to give social enterprises the chance to be a part of the supply chain, 3SC is working closely with Interserve, a Tier 1 provider. Interserve provides support services, operating in the public and private sectors, in the UK and internationally. Together they are identifying Tier II and III social enterprises to assemble the right set of services to reduce reoffending.
The NCSE and Interserve can pull together a bid to deliver:

  • An innovative supply chain that delivers the right range of interventions
  • A consistent engagement (over time and across organisations) with offenders to achieve outcomes
  • Deliver on social value
  • A service offer building on local providers which has cross-agency support in the area

Social enterprises can join the NCSE free of charge, for more information please visit:
For more information about the NCSE please visit: