Stakeholder Brief #4 | Social Enterprise in Social and Health Services

This Stakeholder Brief is a summary of the debates that emerged in the second Research Workshop of Working Group 2 (“Social enterprise in industries”) of the COST Action “Empowering the next generation of social enterprise scholars” (Empower-SE), held at Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences in February- March 2019. Social enterprises (SEs) are a common phenomenon in many countries’ welfare sector. Their entrepreneurial models, competitive situation and effects depend on public and especially social policies to a far larger degree than what is the case for SEs in other industries. Researchers and practitioners see international comparative research as a unique possibility to disentangle essential structural effects of SE from policy effects.

Based on the papers presented, the researchers thus discussed methods for using empirical data to solve epistemological issues and study the relationships between context and environment, on the one side, and SE effects, on the other. Together, researchers and practitioners focused on the necessary framework conditions for SEs to thrive in the field of social and health services, as well as on these enterprises’ innovative contribution to and impact on the provision of such services and on the potential for cooperation between established SEs and start-ups.

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