The EU-funded RISE GRIT (Research in social enterprises: A Greek-Italian project on measuring social impact and identifying financial/funding needs of social enterprises) project aimed to contribute to creating a theory for SEs, address pressing needs of SEs and policymakers in developing a comprehensive framework for the analysis of SE funding/financing, and define key parameters in assessing SE performance. Project partners built an evidence base for social finance and social enterprise development, and launched pilot projects and research that cover key dimensions in the field which are currently inadequately or only slightly addressed. To study social finance, they also conducted a survey to explore the financial and funding needs of Greek SEs from a demand perspective. The RISE GRIT team undertook research on and training in theoretical approaches, models and typologies of SEs in Europe and Italy. It mapped available social finance tools and instruments for SE support, examined the existing social entrepreneurship situation in Greece, and mapped and analysed good practices and key policy-related lessons learned. Researchers established links between EU and Italian researchers and institutes and their Greek peers. They also initiated the development of joint research proposals on social economy and SEs. Overall, research stressed the vital role that an enabling SE ecosystem plays in developing purposeful social ventures to successfully tackle social needs. The project argues that it would be more efficient and impactful if relevant approaches focused on evaluating the social value creation capacity of SEs. RISE GRIT improved understanding, boosted visibility and raised public awareness of SEs. It identified actions for the academic, policymaking and SE communities to work collaboratively in making a real difference and improving the situation on the ground for SEs.
Social enterprises, RISE GRIT, social impact, social finance