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Journal article

Developing social firms in the UK: a contribution to identifying good practice

Authors:
SECKER Jenny, DASS Sandya, GROVE Bob
Journal article citation:
Disability and Society, 18(5), August 2003, pp.659-674.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis,

Social firms and related enterprises are developing rapidly in the UK as a means of providing employment for disabled people. This study examined the kind of enterprise that will best meet the aspirations of disabled people. A telephone survey identified the range of enterprises describing themselves as social firms, and examined their development and operation. Alongside the survey, focus groups with disabled people and interviews with carers explored perspectives on the values that should underpin social firms. The results suggest that indicators of good practice include: user/worker participation in the firm's development and operation; the availability of expert advice to enable informed choice about payment, with payment at the minimum wage rates or higher for those who choose this; opportunities for workers to develop to their full potential; a workforce comprising disabled and non-disabled workers; the involvement of carers and local socio-economic agencies in developing the social firm.

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