Social enterprises, being part of the social economy, are a dynamic element of the European economic landscape with the potential to:
- create jobs,
- innovate in welfare provision,
- provide opportunities to participate in economic life and
- help demographic, green and digital transitions, without leaving anybody behind.
The number of social enterprises is growing rapidly, and their characteristics differ a lot from country to country concerning their number, size, legal forms and fields of activities. To better understand the current state of social enterprises across Europe, the European Commission has carried out a series of studies, mapping the reality of social enterprises 35 European countries using a common definition and approach.
This new synthesis report collates and interprets the key findings from 35 country reports to provide an overall picture of different traditions, salient trends and key challenges across Europe. These report defines social enterprises within their societal and economic context, explaining their relation to different welfare state traditions in Europe and the “ecosystems” in which they operate. The report also highlights that public support measures need to reflect the diversity of social enterprises and their needs.