Developing Methods for Evidencing Social Enterprise as a Public Health Intervention Dates: 2014-2019 Funder: Medical Research Council / Economic and Social Research Council

Led by Professor Cam Donaldson, CommonHealth was a pioneering research project to develop ways of measuring the impact of social enterprises on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. Through collaborative research the project team were able to evaluate new pathways to health creation and health inequalities reduction arising from social enterprise.

Social enterprises and a wide range of stakeholders and investigators from several disciplines were involved in our research and activities. This allowed us to co-create measures that are relevant, effective and user-friendly.

The aims of the study were to:

  • Co-create valuable and practical framework of measures.
  • Share and test ideas with stakeholders in Knowledge Exchange Forums.
  • Create a new scientific understanding of the health and wellbeing impacts of social enterprise
  • Support the creation of an evidence base for social enterprise as a health and well-being intervention
  • Enhance multi-disciplinary social science research in this area by involving a wide range of academic researchers and practitioners from across Scotland. 

Nine projects comprised the study:

Project 1: A historical perspective on social enterprise as a public health intervention 

Project 2 – A contemporary analysis of social enterprise as a public health intervention 

Project 3 – Growth at the edge 

Project 4 – Passage from India 

Project 5 – Focus 50+ 

Project 6 – Aberdeen Foyer 

Project 7 – Housing through Social Enterprise 

Project 8 – Bringing it all together 

Project 9 – ‘Project Plus’: Arts and health through social enterprise (PhD project) 

Selected Publications: 

Project Lead: Cam Donaldson 

Project Team: Cam Donaldson, Rachel Baker, Catherine Docherty, Clementine Hill O’Connor, Janet Greenlees, Fiona Henderson, Alan Kay, Danielle Kelly, Melanie Liddell, Bobby Macaulay, Gillian Murray, Steve Rolfe, Michael Roy, Artur Steiner, Simon Teasdale, Isobel Anderson, Heather Fulford, Jon Godwin, Antony Morgan, Sarah-Anne Munoz, Pete Seaman, Dawn Skelton, Hilary Thomson, Enrico Bellazzecca. 

Sustainable Development Goals