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A map of social enterprises and their eco-systems in Europe. Executive Summary

European Commission, 2014

Country reports

Despite a growing interest in social enterprise and increasing levels of activity, there is limited understanding about the current state, size, and scope of social enterprises in Europe. To fill this gap, the European Commission launched the present study in April 2013 as a follow-up to its 2011 Communication on the Social Business Initiative (SBI). This first-of- its-kind study maps social enterprise activity and eco-systems in 29 countries using a common definition and approach. Specifically, the Study maps (i) the scale and characteristics of social enterprise activity in each country; (ii) the national policy and legal framework for social enterprise; (iii) support measures targeting social enterprise; (iv) labelling and certification schemes where these exist; and (v) social (impact) investment markets. The Study also provides insights on the factors constraining the development of social enterprise and potential actions that could be undertaken at an EU level to complement and support national initiatives. It is based on: (i) in depth review of national policy documents, academic and grey literature on social enterprise; and (ii) semi-structured interviews with a range of stakeholders such as social enterprises, policy makers, social enterprise networks, support providers, investors and intermediaries.

author(s): ICF Consulting Services Limited - C. Wilkinson, J. Medhurst, N.Henry, Mattias Wihlborg and Bates Wells Braithwaite (BWB)
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