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Social innovation and social entrepreneurship is a global trend which has arisen for several reasons, but first and foremost out of the great need for social innovations within the community. How social entrepreneurship is shaped depends on how the community system is set up, but there is a broad consensus in the world, that society´s traditional institutions are unable to solve all the challenges the world is facing right now. It’s about climate challenges, demographic challenges, urbanization, aging population, segregation, unemployment and depopulation of rural areas and more.

Both the terms “social economy” and “social entrepreneurship” are relatively new terms in the socio-economic landscape of our world. Nevertheless, they carry a great deal of weight and are of large import in current times. There are many definitions as to what either of these two terms is. And according to Swedberg (2006) it can be said the initial concept for both was mentioned by Joseph Schumpeter ascribed a social or a non-economic aspect to entrepreneurship in the early 1900s. From there on in there have been many scholars that have addressed the topic. Some of which are:

 “A social enterprise is a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximize profit for shareholders and owners … Social enterprises tackle a wide range of social and environmental issues and operate in all parts of the economy” (in Darby & Jenkins, 2006).

Social entrepreneurship is defined as the economic activity of creating new models for the provision of products and services to serve the basic human needs of the poorest social strata that remain unsatisfied by current economic or social institutions” (Seelos & Mair,2005).

As such a social enterprise operates somewhere between the boundaries of the state and the private business sector, by trying to fill societal needs where the state does not. In doing so social enterprises can take a variety of legal forms, which according to Abdou, Fahmy, Greenwald and Nelson (2010) fall into four categories based on their legal form and revenue sources: leveraged nonprofits, enterprising nonprofits, hybrid enterprises and social businesses. These four types of social enterprises can be placed on a spectrum in relation to traditional nonprofit or philanthropic organizations at one end and commercial businesses at the other end.

There has been a comprehensive research conducted within the context of So-VET – Social Entrepreneurship as an alternative for Young Unemployed, an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership Project in partner countries of Macedonia, Turkey, Sweden, Greece, Italy and UK. On desk research part, the research revealed interesting results on social entrepreneurship in comparison between countries. Some of the comparative facts and figures are given below.

You can review the whole SO-VET Needs Analysis Report which also includes the results from field research representing the awareness and needs of young people towards social entrepreneurship.

Training Need Analysis Report is used as a guideline in order to identify the training needs of the target group. E-Learning Platform where the young NEETs (not in employment, education or training) will be able to attend the pilot on-line courses and receive training from a distance is developed by experienced experts with the help of the report results. The participants will be able to get a certificate by completing the online course consisted by 9 Modules through this platform. You can access the online training modules free of charge only by registering the platform. Please click the link for detailed information.


Matrix of legislation and institutional recognition among the participant countries in SO-VET


 Policies and instruments providing development support to social entrepreneurship


State of social entrepreneurship

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