Social innovation: worklessness, welfare and well-being

Michael Roy, Neil Anthony McHugh, Clementine Hill O'Connor

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The UK Government has recently implemented large-scale public-sector funding cuts and substantial welfare reform. Groups within civil society are being encouraged to fill gaps in service provision, and ‘social innovation’ has been championed as a means of addressing social exclusion, such as that caused by worklessness, a major impediment to citizens being able to access money, power and resources, which are key social determinants of health. The aim of this article is to make the case for innovative ‘upstream’ approaches to addressing health inequalities, and we discuss three prominent social innovations gaining traction: microcredit for enterprise; social enterprise in the form of Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISEs); and Self Reliant Groups (SRGs).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Policy and Society
Early online date24 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • social innovation
  • self-reliance groups
  • microcredit
  • public health


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