Cartographie de l’entrepreneuriat social en Europe
Partant d’une définition et d’une approche commune, l’étude présente :
L’importance et les caractéristiques de l’économie sociale dans chaque pays
Les cadres législatifs et politiques nationaux pour les entreprises sociales
Les mesures de soutien pour les entreprises sociales
L’étiquetage et les programmes de certifications existants
Les marchés d’investissement à impact social
Le rapport analyse également les obstacles qui existent au développement de l’économie sociale et fait des recommandations d’actions à mener au niveau européen pour soutenir les initiatives nationales.
L’étude constate que ce sont l’Italie, la France et le Royaume-Uni qui ont les structures de soutien les plus développées. Elle souligne également le potentiel de développement dans ce secteur en Irlande, Croatie, Lettonie, Lituanie, Malte, Pologne et Roumanie.
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. Yet, despite interest in and the emergence of examples of inspirational and ‘disruptive’ social enterprise, relatively little is known about the scale and characteristics of the emerging social enterprise ‘sector’ of Europe as a whole. Studies have come forward to detail the possible forms and range of ‘the family of European social enterprises’ and to distinguish these developing enterprise forms from both the social and mainstream economy1 , but the diversity of national economic structures, welfare and cultural traditions and legal frameworks has meant that measuring and comparing social enterprise activity across Europe remains a challenge.
There exists both a lack of availability and consistency of statistical information on social enterprises across Europe. The European Commission launched this Mapping Study in April 2013 as a follow-up to Action 5 of the Social Business Initiative (SBI)2 to help fill this gap in knowledge. This Study maps the broad contours of social enterprise activity and eco-systems in 29 European countries (EU 28 and Switzerland) using a common ‘operational definition’ and research methodology.
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. By definition, this mapping exercise does not provide an assessment of social enterprise eco-systems or policies but, rather, a description of current characteristics and trends to support future research and policy making. Recognising the current conceptual and methodological limitations in measuring and mapping social enterprise activity, the Study adopts a pragmatic approach to generate a ‘first map’ based on existing academic and grey material and interviews with over 350 stakeholders across Europe. The substantial diversity in economic and welfare contexts, legal frameworks and cultures associated with the emergence of social enterprise in nations and regions means that this initial mapping of drivers, characteristics and eco-system features should be followed by more targeted and specific research as individual policy initiatives are formulated and developed.