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Social Enterprise Experiments in England: 1660 – 1908. Matthew MacDonald and Carole Howorth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development Lancaster University Management School. Pre 1660.

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social enterprise experiments in england 1660 1908

Social Enterprise Experiments in England: 1660 – 1908

Matthew MacDonald and Carole HoworthInstitute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development Lancaster University Management School

pre 1660
Pre 1660
  • “their condition being held to be attributable to God’s visible disfavour and their own inabilities; their thriftless, immoral and even deceitful habits of life…the general rule of all England was to whip and punish the wandering beggars” (Levy, 1944, p135-6)
the first social enterprises 1660 1700
The First Social Enterprises 1660-1700
  • “Some proposals for the employment of the poor, And for the prevention of idleness and the consequence thereof, begging, a practice so dishonourable to the nation and to the Christian religion” (Firmin, 1678)
  • “the loss of two pence in the shilling as money well spent” (Firmin in Owen, 1965, p18)
effects of the french and industrial revolutions
Effects of the French and Industrial Revolutions
  • “The principle legacy of the French Revolution was a paranoid fear of working class insurrection” (Hudson 2001)
  • “Distinctions between classes, spiritually sanctioned and inevitable…to be industrious and tractable was, of course, the obligation of the poor…the deference owed by the poor to the rich was the ubiquitous theme”(Owen, 1965)
social attitudes to poor relief
Social Attitudes to Poor Relief
  • “…little better than savages and barbarians, with whom any familiar intercourse would be degrading” (Trimmer, 1814)
late 18 th and early 19 th century
Late 18th and Early 19th Century
  • “correcting the little pilfering habits of the infant poor, the source  of so many vices and crimes in society; and of preserving them from idleness and bad example, and training them in virtuous and industrious habits, so as to make them … useful and valuable members of society.” (The Reports of the Society for Bettering the Condition and Increasing the Comforts of the Poor. 1798)
housing provision
Housing Provision
  • “Mr. Waterlow has the ulterior purpose in view, on which he lays great stress, of convincing others and especially capitalists, that it is a mode of investing money insuring a profitable return. He repudiates every consideration of charity as offensive to the working classes themselves”(The Times, March 1863)
late 19 th and early 20 th century
Late 19th and Early 20th Century
  • “They do their little industries in the big hall, and knit trifles for the morrow's sale by which they are to secure their right to their board and lodging here.” (account of a visit to the Hanbury Street Women’s Shelter, 1891)
“signally failed either to do the job itself or to stimulate the State to do it adequately”

“tended to obscure the magnitude of the real problem by a false sense of achievement”(Macadam, 1934)

“They felt that material assistance on its own was worthless unless it was accompanied by a concern for the moral and spiritual needs of the recipient. Indeed it was the spiritual welfare of the needy which was the primary concern”(Whelan 1996)

  • Social enterprise one of a number of responses to shortcomings in existing relief provision
  • Malthusian view of the “deserving” and “undeserving” poor
  • A primary concern with moral improvement
  • Does this view now extend to “grant dependant” voluntary organisations as well as to individuals?