Press releases

Minister launches review to unlock hidden potential of mission-led businesses

Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson has today launched a review looking at how to increase the economic and social impact of “mission-led” businesses in the UK economy over the next ten years.


Mission-led businesses use their business models to achieve both social and economic impact. These businesses usually have a clear mission to address critical social problems, but do not register this mission in legal terms such as becoming a charity or a community-interest company.


It is estimated that there are as many as 195,000 of these businesses in the UK, employing 1.6 million people. In 2012 these businesses were estimated to turn over £120 billion a year. They are adopting new solutions to longstanding social issues like aged care, dementia and unemployment.


The review, led by the Cabinet Office, will examine how this emerging sector can be supported to double in size over the next decade, delivering greater economic and social benefits. The review will shortly issue a Call for Input and report by the end of 2016.


This trend is being driven by the millennial generation who increasingly demand an increased focus on social purpose in who they work for, how they consume and where they invest.


An expert advisory panel comprising of business and social sector voices will be chaired by Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive of Legal & General Group PLC.


Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, said:

“Businesses which have a social mission often play a vital role in making their community better, whilst also contributing to the wider success of the UK economy. This review will help us find new ways to tap into their full potential, helping us to improve the lives of those in most need whilst creating a more compassionate society.”


Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General Group and Chair of the External Advisory Panel to the Review, said:


"Like us the best businesses aspire to be both economically and socially useful. This study of the mission or socially-led business sector hopes to bring greater clarity to a fast-growing, dynamic part of the economy which often plays a key role in providing the UK with its Research and Development capabilities that neither industry, government nor the education sector have cracked.


“Businesses of this type are neither charities nor straightforward companies, but many are dynamic and entrepreneurial: they can help address major social issues, while innovating and creating jobs. They are a real force for good, and we hope to help develop the best framework for them in which to operate"


Some examples of Mission Led Businesses include


Oomph! is the UK’s largest provider of fun, inclusive and effective exercise classes for older adults. Oomph trains staff and volunteers to provide personalised exercise for over 65s and provides research tools to track health outcomes. Oomph works in 500 care homes across the North of England and Yorkshire, and has a franchise starting in Hong Kong.


K10 is a London wide construction skills network that trains and places apprentices in the construction sector. Founded in 2010, K10 address the declining number of apprentices working in the construction sector and the difficulties contractors faced when committed to delivering effective apprenticeship programmes. They seek to make construction accessible to those who traditionally would not work there, like women, ex-offenders, and ethnic minorities. 84% of their apprenticeships were previously unemployed.


Andiamo is building healthcare solutions for disabled children to ensure that no child anywhere in the world has to wait more than a week for their medical device. By using 3D scanning and digital printing technology, they aim to reduce the wait time for an orthoses from 28 weeks to 48 hours. This year, they are testing this service with 20 families in the UK, and ultimately plan to take the service global.


Aduna is an Africa-inspired health & beauty brand and social business. Its mission is to create demand for under-utilised natural products from small producers in rural Africa, starting with the nutrient-dense ‘super-ingredients’ baobab and moringa. Aduna works in partnership with community organisations and purchases directly from small-scale producers.


Notes to Editors


  1. The terms of reference for the review into mission-led businesses can be viewed here.

  2. Non-media enquiries should be addressed to

  3. Media Enquires to Ben Oliver, Cabinet Office Press Officer, tel 020 7276 0436