The number of social enterprises in Europe is increasing and they are engaging in new fields. Many countries are introducing new legislation as well as new support schemes to boost the development of social enterprises.
Both public and private markets offer new opportunities for social enterprises to start up and grow, reveals the new report “Social enterprises and their eco-systems: developments in Europe” published by the European Commission. The research was conducted by independent academics supported by the Euricse and EMES network .
Examples of underlying factors behind the development of social enterprises in Europe include:
However there are also constrains and challenges that can hamper the development of social enterprises.
New country reports provide a comprehensive picture of social enterprises and their eco-systems in France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Ireland, Slovakia and Poland, based on a common definition.
The reports place social enterprises in their societal and economic context, notably explaining their relation to so called social economy, which have a strong tradition for example Italy, France, Spain and Belgium. An important finding is that both social economy and social enterprises have shown resilience and job retention during the economic crises and beyond. Because they respond to concrete societal needs and are often locally rooted, they are not exposed to speculative risks or job losses due to relocations.
These new reports are part of the Commission’s exercise of gradually up-dating the map of social enterprises and their eco-systems in Europe, first time published in 2014.
Giulia Galera, Barbara Franchini and Carlo Borzaga were part of the Euricse team who workd on this project. Euricse was also inchared of updating the national report of Italy.