Small is beautiful? The mission-led business review

What might the community business world make of the government's 'mission-led business' review

Ailbhe McNabola

Head of Research and Policy

Yesterday the government published its review of ‘mission-led business’ in the UK, undertaken by an independent panel of business leaders who drew on supporting research and analysis by Deloitte.

The review found that there is an emerging movement of ‘mission-led businesses’ across the UK – profit-driven businesses that make a powerful commitment to social impact.

So what might we in the community business world make of the findings?

Having a mission helps

There are lots of positives.

The ‘mission-led business’ segment of the UK economy could be seen to sit right alongside community business, on a spectrum that runs from entirely profit-driven business through increasingly mission-driven businesses, to the charity sector.

It is encouraging that so much of what might once have been seen as traditional business is now looking to put social mission at the core of its purpose, and even more encouraging to see the research finding that this mission delivers a business advantage (“businesses that embrace social priorities perform better, reflect people’s ideals and ambitions and so are primed for success”).

This chimes with what we know about community business, where the sector has seen strong growth for the last 2 years (outstripping traditional small businesses and small charities) and impressive resilience, with very few going out of business even in these difficult times.