Recent years have seen a burgeoning interest in social enterprise across Europe, strongly driven by a growing recognition of the role social enterprise can play in tackling societal and environmental challenges and fostering inclusive growth. Impetus has come also from the 2009 global economic crisis which has resulted in widespread public discontentment with the functioning of the global economic system and fuelled interest in more inclusive and pluralistic economic systems. Subsequent implementation of austerity measures - against a backdrop of new and growing social needs - have created both challenges and opportunities for social enterprise in Europe.
The Study outputs comprise a Synthesis Report including an Executive Summary (the present document) and 29 Country Reports. The Synthesis Report brings together the findings of the individual Country Reports to provide a high level European ‘map’ or snapshot of social enterprise activity and select features of their eco-systems that are of particular policy interest to the European Commission, namely: national policy and legal frameworks for social enterprise; business development services and support schemes specifically designed for social enterprises; networks and mutual support mechanisms; social impact investment markets; impact measurement and reporting systems; and marks, labels and certification schemes.
Publication is available here.