Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


EFESEIIS Report Summary

Project ID: 613179
Funded under: FP7-SSH
Country: Italy

Final Report Summary - EFESEIIS (Enabling the flourishing and evolution of social entrepreneurship for innovative and inclusive societies)

Executive Summary:
The EFESEIIS Project (Enabling the Flourishing and Evolution of Social Entrepreneurship for Inclusive and Innovative Societies) achieved four main objectives.
The first objective has been to build a cornerstone for an Evolutionary Theory on Social Entrepreneurship. The two reports “Homo Socialis x Homo Economicus → Social Entrepreneur” and “Evolutionary theory of social enterprise on the use of evolutionary concepts in the field of social entrepreneurship represents an effort to conceive the development of Social Enterprises and social entrepreneurship in different countries according to Evolutionary Theory.
The second objective of the project has been the identification of the main features of an “Enabling Eco-system for Social Entrepreneurship”. The framework to analyse the Social Enterprises Ecosystems drafted by Testi et al. (forthcoming) building on the STEHD (Sustainable Territorial Evolution for Human Development) Framework of Biggeri and Ferrannini (2014) sheds light on the features of the ecosystem and their relationships that enable/hinder the creation of an enabling ecosystem. Four main typologies of ecosystems (arid, artificial, fertile and enabling) with varying degrees of soft and hard enabling features have also been identified. The survey on 1.100 social entrepreneurs in the 10 partner countries provided insights on the main challenges faced by social entrepreneurs during the different life cycles of their social enterprise.
The third objective achieved by the project has been the answer to the research question “Does a New Generation of Social Enterprises exists?” and identify its specificities at the transnational level. Specifically, the analysis sought to explore the extent to which this supposed “new generation” of social enterprises: (1) scales up social innovation (2) utilizes different approaches from the previous generation to create social value; (3) uses specific narrative modes to express its values, visions and organizational culture. On the basis of the transversal analysis of the 55 case studies carried out in the various target countries – Italy, Sweden, England, Poland, Scotland, Serbia, Albania, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria – we cannot unequivocally claim that a “new generation” of social enterprises, different and independent from the previous ones, actually exists. Instead, our empirical evidence allows us to state that there exists a broad new-generation sphere for social enterprise. It is a hybrid space, a space that hosts many heterogeneous entities and brings together new and old actors who adopt approaches, languages, work styles and tools which (considered all together) attest to a significant renewal in ways of doing social enterprise.
The fourth objective reached by the project has been providing advices to stakeholders. This has been done through the published policy brief, as well as stakeholders recommendations published in the short dissemination book of the projects as well as with the policy implications section at the end of most of the project reports.

Project Context and Objectives:
Social Enterprises (SEs) have received great deal of attention in Europe in recent years. European SEs especially are in the spotlight after the Social Business Initiative was launched by the EU Commission in 2011. SEs are perceived as being able to satisfy the growing need for social services in the context of decreasing public spending whilst also creating employment opportunities, especially for people who have been excluded from the labour market (Defourny and Nyssen, 2006; Borzaga et al., 2008). The positive understanding of the SEs presence in a society has increased in the policy discourse because of the economic crisis. It has also contributed to the increase in attention on the relationship between SEs and the system in which they are set.Since SEs are seen as having a positive impact on society and as contributors to human and economic development (Scarlato, 2012; Biggeri et al., 2016), in many countries the need emerged to understand the best methods to promote their establishment and continued success. In order to understand these issues, to contribute to the academic debate on SEs and to give useful policy advice on a truly enabling ecosystem, in November 2013 a consortium of 11 organisations started an ambitious three-year research project covering 10 countries: Albania, Austria, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Serbia, Scotland and The Netherlands. The EFESEIIS research project had four main objectives.
First Objective: To construct an Evolutionary Theory of Social Entrepreneurship
Social Entrepreneurship has developed in different ways across Europe. The project aimed to construct a theory which explains these differences, taking into account the history and trends of Social Entrepreneurship, the different operational and organisational forms, the role of communities, cultures and tradition, the role of social innovation, the role of the dialogue between the State and Citizens on Social Inclusion and how social entrepreneurship and institutions co-evolved during time.
Second Objective: To identify the features of an “Enabling Eco-System for Social Entrepreneurship”
The research identified the macro-meso and micro conditions under which Social Enterprises can contribute effectively and efficiently to build an inclusive and innovative society. Social Entrepreneurship is mainly a local phenomena, in the sense that its activities are usually performed at the local level and aim to solve local problems. Social Entrepreneurship is thus embedded in the local context through relations with consumers/producers, with the local financial sector, local support services, local policy makers etc. Social Entrepreneurship is also influenced by the broader context in which is set being: the cultural, legal and institutional features of the country as well as the “discourses” present in the historical moment it is living or has lived in.
Third Objective: To identify the “New Generation” of Social Entrepreneurs
In the last years, Social Entrepreneurs have faced unprecedented conditions. On one side the economic crisis has precipitated drastic welfare cuts in the name of austerity, which not only reduce sources of income for the social entrepreneur but also create new markets to be filled and potentially new innovations in raising finance. On the other side (and perhaps as a consequence of the former) we have seen increasing attention being placed on Social Entrepreneurship by citizens and institutions such as governments, banks etc. What could be called as a new generation of social enterprises has emerged in the last five years. The project assessed its features, needs, constraints as well as its contribution to Social Innovation.
Fourth Objective: To provide advice to stakeholders
During the entire duration of the project, data from interviews, focus groups and questionnaires have been gathered with the aim of providing targeted advices to stakeholders.
The project targeted policymakers both at the European, national and local level, banks, and other organizations such as: chambers of commerce, associations of entrepreneurs, local development agencies and so on. Stakeholders have been provided with advice on how to draft policies and services to foster Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation based on the data collected and on the country analysis performed.
In order to pursue and achieve these research objectives, the consortium implemented a complex research design with different work packages built both on qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The results were analysed in detail to explore how social entrepreneurship and social enterprises emerged in the project partner’s countries - their co-evolution with major institutions, the reciprocal influence with the ecosystem in which they are set and how people that recently founded social enterprises differ from those that founded social enterprises many years ago. All project partners carried out in-depth case studies on the new generation of social entrepreneurs. They also carried out several interviews and focus groups with stakeholders, together with a survey on social enterprises. As a result, more than 3.000 among social entrepreneurs and stakeholders have been involved in the research activities during the three years of the project.

Project Results:
WP 2 – Comparative historical perspective on Social Inclusion, innovation and entrepreneurship
WP2 main results were the publishing of the national reports on the evolution of social entrepreneurship in 11 European countries (Italy, Scotland, Sweden, The Netherlands, England, Germany, France, Austria, Poland, Albania and Serbia) and 2 extra-EU countries (South Africa and Brasil). To write the reports project partners interviewed and conducted focus groups with 101 stakeholders in partner countries and got in touch with 81 organizations. The national reports show the differences in the development of social enterprises in the different countries due to different historical pathways and institutions. The national reports are freely downloadable on the project website. 2358 people downloaded at least one national report at M36.
The research activity done in WP2 led to the identification of the following dimensions as those requiring attention by policy makers:
The legal dimension
In terms of the ‘legal’ dimension, the majority of our countries do not provide regulations, designed specifically for social enterprises. Only few countries (e.g. Italy and France) have such specific regulations, while others are discussing the possibility of developing them (e.g. Serbia). However, the absence of a specific legal framework does not prevent the development of social entrepreneurship. In fact, social enterprises undertake their activities using a wide range of legal frameworks, such as social cooperatives, foundations, mutuals, charities, and civil society associations, among others.
Moreover, where a specific legal framework does exist, this is not unanimously regarded as a positive aspect; on the contrary, in some contexts it can be viewed as a constraint. For example, in Italy, very few social enterprises have decided to adopt the legal status specifically designed for them, and the Italian government had to improve this legal framework. In Serbia, where social entrepreneurship is at an inception phase, the social economy community is concerned that a new law could introduce a restrictive definition of social enterprises. This definition would prevent a large proportion of organisations which currently operate as de facto social enterprises by means of other statuses - such as a civil society organisation (CSO) - from qualifying as formal social enterprises. Furthermore, in Serbia, the draft law on social enterprises risks leaving key issues unresolved. For example, CSOs in Serbia can develop economic activities but they cannot apply for credit and are prevented from registering products that they have invented or produced, while social enterprises registered as limited liability companies, cannot apply for donations nor project funding.
Sometimes, there are also contradictions between regulations and laws governing social enterprise. For example, in Serbia again people recognized by public authorities as disabled cannot work, which prevents them from getting involved in social enterprises activities, as they are in other contexts, particularly Italy, where a law was passed to facilitate employment access for vulnerable individuals.

Tax benefits and tax rates
Among the interventions that our findings suggest support an enabling ecosystem for social enterprise is improving tax benefits or providing preferential tax rates for activities or donations related to social entrepreneurship. It also appears helpful to reduce the bureaucracy associated with delivering public authority services.

Bankruptcy legislation
A further legal reform that our research suggests helps create an enabling environment is easing or changing existing bankruptcy legislation. Social entrepreneurship is a very risky activity, where success is often the outcome of previous failures. However, in several countries (particularly Austria) potential social entrepreneurs refrain from developing their entrepreneurial ideas to avoid incurring the legal consequences of potential bankruptcy. A legal system that allows people to recover rapidly from an entrepreneurial failure, such as in the United States, would facilitate the development of social entrepreneurship.

Positive aspects of local policy environment
The policy environment is an aspect of the ecosystem intertwined with the legal framework. This must be discussed from several view-points, in particular considering the nature of the administrative system and territorial level of policy, and the policy fields in which social enterprises work (e.g. employment, housing, etc.).
In all eleven countries, stakeholders considered the local policy level as most relevant for social enterprises. Local authorities are pivotal actors in the development of a supportive social enterprise ecosystem. Some stakeholders consider local authority support as the key-ingredient for success (e.g. Poland). Local authorities have such a preeminent role in the configuration of the social enterprise ecosystem primarily because they provide opportunities for social entrepreneurship in conjunction with social services, or delivery of state health and welfare services. In contrast, social entrepreneurs regard national governments as beyond their reach and influence, and this is even more so in the case of supranational level agencies, such as the EU.
Stakeholders regarded the importance of local policy-making in determining the social enterprise ecosystem as having both positive and negative aspects. Among the positive aspects referred to were the spatial proximity of key actors and stakeholders, which is considered beneficial in enabling innovation to be transferred from grassroots civil society organisations to more institutionalised policy domains.

Negative aspects of local policy environment
The negative aspects of the pivotal role of local authorities are also related to their spatial proximity and the risk of developing nepotism and clientelism. In several countries – notably Poland, Italy and Sweden - a narrow conceptualisation of social capital (‘who you know, rather than what you know’) is regarded as a valuable asset for a social enterprise to prosper.
Relationships between local authorities and social enterprises are often filtered through public procurement systems that have offered social enterprises opportunities to grow in size and capacity and become recognized contributors to social value creation. However, this opportunity is now being scrutinized in several contexts and in fact considered detrimental to social entrepreneurship. For example, in Italy, a country with a long tradition of social entrepreneurship development through public procurement, discussions and focus groups held with stakeholders revealed that procurement mechanisms have corrupted the genuine nature of social entrepreneurship, having turned them into cheap modes to deliver what were previously public services. Moreover, procurement regulations are considered to have weakened the creation of synergies among and collaboration between social enterprises by emphasising competition instead.
Another downside of the importance of local authorities in determining the social enterprise ecosystem is that, in all the countries studied, such an ecosystem appears fragmented and lacks a coherent, systemic framework. An ecosystem that is so reliant upon local authority support is fragile as it makes social enterprises dependent upon contingent circumstances. Therefore, social entrepreneurs are asking for a specific body to be established to coordinate all the activities used to support social enterprises.

Public Awareness and education
Finally, our research unveiled that an important component of an enabling ecosystem is to increase public awareness of what social enterprises do. It also found that stakeholders advocate nurturing an entrepreneurial culture among younger generations, and in particular among young people considering a career in social entrepreneurship. The lack of a proper managerial or entrepreneurial culture was highlighted as one of the reasons for the failure of enterprises and poor mismanagement practices. Public authorities should consider widening educational curricula and provision to include social entrepreneurship in order to increase public awareness of the sector, but education in entrepreneurship is also required specifically tailored for social entrepreneurs.

Those dimensions have been tackled by the Policy brief published on the website of the EU Commission “How can policy makers improve their country’s support to social enterprises?” on the 4th November 2015-

WP3 Features of Social Entrepreneurs

10 thematic focuses on the features of Social Entrepreneurs (general characteristics, gender, social enterprise definition, financial resources, motivations, challenges and obstacles, new generation of social enterprises, stakeholders engagement, social capital, innovative practices) as well as 10 country focuses have been made available after the completion of the survey to 1.100 Social Entrepreneurs in 11 EU countries. In the survey we included questions that sought to understand social entrepreneurs’ life-course both as individuals and as representatives of the enterprise in which they work. In so doing, it has been possible to identify the features of the entrepreneurs and the enterprises. The survey sample design was based on available information on SEs in each of the respective countries. When the number of entrepreneurs was high and a list available we used random sampling; in the remaining cases, we fell back on purposive sampling. The sampling results are satisfactory as the main characteristic of the population is similar to those reported in other studies.
The main results of the survey are indicated below:

1. Who are EFESEIIS social entrepreneurs?

The EFESEIIS project defines social entrepreneurs as individuals (or group of individuals), who provide social needs through entrepreneurial activities.
The EFESEIIS project provides an overview of the defining features shared by Social Entrepreneurs and SEs in the eleven countries studied. For instance, the gender composition is evenly split. This finding is consistent with the European Parliament’s study of women’s entrepreneurship (McCracken, K., et al., 2015), which shows that the gender gap among social entrepreneurs tends to be smaller than for profit-oriented entrepreneurs. It is also consistent with the results of other research (Harding 2006; Bacq et al. 2016). The social entrepreneurs in our sample are also highly educated. In fact, three-fifths of them have a minimum of an undergraduate university degree.

2. Why does a person become a Social Entrepreneur?

If we ask why survey participants wish to work in a social enterprise, it becomes clear that the motive to establish or work in an enterprise for social reasons seems to trump personal economic goals. In particular, only 12 percent of respondents cited ‘self-employment’ as their primary motive for participating in a social enterprise, while 40 percent indicated that their primary goal was to address a social problem. These findings are consistent with previous studies of European social entrepreneurship. In particular, European social enterprises tend to gear economic activity to their social objectives (or ‘mission’) rather than allowing economic opportunities for income generation through trade in goods or services to drive their activities (Defourny & Nyssens, 2012, p. 13). Thus, the primary goal of social enterprise is to achieve a social impact that directly benefits a given community or group of people (Borzaga, C., & Defourny, J., 2004).
The willingness to solve a problem directly experienced by a social entrepreneur was cited by 14 percent of interviewees. Slightly less survey participants (10 percent) mentioned the importance of pushing innovation in existing social services as the main reason for starting a social enterprise.
No significant differences in motivations can be distinguished by gender or age. Nevertheless, younger people were slightly more likely to view SEs as a self-employment opportunity. This reflects the recent growth and popularity of the sector, which is increasingly seen as a credible alternative to traditional business. Younger social entrepreneurs were marginally more likely to engage in SEs in order to tackle inadequacies of existing social service.

3. What are Social Enterprises?

As the EFESEIIS research findings confirm, SEs vary greatly within and between countries. Much of this variation depends on the nature and the level of development of the national/territorial ecosystems in which SEs are situated. SEs operate in different sectors, take on different legal forms, differ in their capacity to remain in the market, and depend on external finance (grants, donation, bequests and benefactions) to varying degrees. They also differ in terms of their overall income, how they use their profits, and the number of employees and volunteers.
In terms of the legal form of SEs, the EFESEIIS survey indicates that the majority of organisations are cooperatives and companies, followed by charities, NGOs and associations. The high number of SEs in the form of NGOs and associations in countries such as Albania reflects the degree of development of the SEs’ ecosystem in the country in question and the absence of recognized legal structures for SEs as well as recognition that SEs are viable options for addressing social issues.
Most of the SEs in our sample operate in the service sector (predominantly in traditional fields of the third sector such as health care, social work and education). Nonetheless, recently growing sectors such as the arts, entertainment and recreation, hotel and catering, media services, professional, scientific and technical activities, and administrative and support services, already account of almost one-third of the survey sample. Primary industry is represented by 7% of organisations, while the secondary sector is smaller. The presence of SEs in non-traditional sectors reflects the flourishing of the social economy within varied and innovative environments. It also reflects the fact that most of the social enterprises included in our study are relatively new and are attracted by these sectors.
In most of the countries surveyed, the majority of SEs in our sample were either totally independent or only partially dependent on external finance (money from grants, bequests and benefactions), and were involved in economically sustainable activities. SEs that are set up as foundations, associations or NGOs appear to be more dependent on grants and benefactors. Nonetheless, around one third of SEs set up as companies do depend on external finance, especially during the start-up phase.
The capacity of SEs to mix market and non-market revenues as sources of income clearly emerges from the survey. Organizations that are sustainable through market activities employ a larger portion of paid staff, compared to financially dependent SEs that rely mostly on volunteers. Half of our sample relied on volunteers to undertake activities.
SEs that engage in market activities work with both private and public customers (including companies, citizens, authorities). The types of customers depend on the type of sector and the market they operate in as well as how the welfare state is organized in the country in question. For example, in countries such as Italy, where the welfare sector has been decentralized, many SEs work for public authorities in managing social services.
Social Enterprises face many challenges over their lifetime which vary according to country and the extent to which the ecosystem enables – or hinders – their development.. Following the EFESEIIS survey, we have been able to identify the most common enabling and constraining factors.
The questionnaire focused on the evolution of social enterprise with particular reference to the nature of the challenges faced at different stages of their development. The main challenges in the start-up phase were associated with the legal and fiscal framework (mentioned by 40 percent) which can be too bureaucratic or can present problems due to failure to adequately contemplate the appropriate legal form of the SE in question. Lack of funding (mentioned by 28 percent) and lack of skills (mentioned by 34 percent) were also issues for many SEs.
In the current phase, the lack of government funding and the weight of bureaucracy are viewed as challenges by 24 percent and 20 percent of SEs respectively. These are followed by difficulties in getting funds from private sources (14 percent), competition with for profit businesses (13 percent), problems competing for public tenders (13 percent), lack of favourable tax treatment (13 percent) and diminishing profit margins (12 percent).

4. Social enterprises and their capacity to create innovation

In order to face these challenges and provide solutions for unmet social needs (or increase the effectiveness of existing strategies, SEs strive to innovate. Some of these initiatives fall within the domain of social innovation defined as
“new solutions (products, services, models, markets, processes, organisations, etc.) that simultaneously meet a social need (more effectively than existing solutions) and lead to new or improved opportunities and relationships and better use of assets and resources” (Young Foundation, 2012, p.18).
The innovative nature of social enterprise is characterized by their embeddedness in the local context. As stated by the participants of our focus groups, SEs are able to effectively create new combinations of local resources and forge new social relations due to their knowledge of local problems and opportunities. It is important to understand the factors that drive SEs to innovate.
The relevance of social enterprises as innovators prompted the inclusion of a separate module on their innovative practices in the EFESEIIS survey. About 80 percent of SEs engaged in innovation with respect to products, processes, finance or marketing; and around 50 percent innovated in response to a change in the external environment. The main drivers of innovation were new kind of social needs and unmet social challenges, financial distress, strategies to find profitable niches in the market and increase competitiveness, and adaptation in response to changes in policies and the legislative framework. Innovations can be found in products, services, production systems and internal processes, changes in the business-model, networking strategies and relations with customers, marketing channels, and brand strategy.
The interest in innovation seems to increase over time especially among those SEs set up sometime between 1980 and the turn of the century. This can be explained by the need of well-established firms to reinvent their products and services in order to maintain a competitive advantage.
Innovation in different business areas (such as products and services, processes, finance and marketing) have varying implications for market competitiveness, social outputs and the environmental impacts produced by SEs. The performance of SEs in each of these areas are briefly considered in turn.
- Increases in the competitiveness of SEs: In total 71 percent of SEs ranked innovation in products or services (that is, improvements with respect to their characteristics, uses and provision) as either “very important” or “extremely important”. Innovative marketing designs (relating to marketing channel, brand design, and customer interaction) were important for 69 percent of SEs. Process and financial innovation (relating to business model and funding sources) were regarded as having slightly less impact on the competitive advantage of SEs (around 60 percent of respondents said this was ‘very important’ or ‘extremely important’).
- Achieving greater social impact: the majority of respondents believe innovation in products or services is essential not only to beat competitors but also to achieve a greater social impact (70 percent). In this respect, marketing (61 percent), process (58 percent) and financial (55 percent) innovations are less relevant.
- Achieving greater environmental impact: less than 40 percent of respondents rated innovation to meet environmental challenges as “very important” or “extremely important”. Among different innovation strategies, product and service innovation (37 percent), together with market innovation (36 percent) were the main strategies for tackling environmental issues. Product and service provision can be improved in an effort to become more environment-friendly, and marketing strategies help to communicate the environmental principles of the SEs.

WP 3 Behavioural features of Social Entrepreneurs
Another notable result of WP3 has been the completion of the lab behavioural experiment on the behavioural features of Social Entrepreneurs In the EFESEIIS project we decided to assess whether decision makers (including entrepreneurs and managers) in SEs and in the other types of enterprises (OTEs) make different decisions, and to understand what the outcomes of these decisions are in terms of enterprise profits and benefits for society. We expected decision makers in SEs to take more pro-social choices than their peers and to contribute more to the well-being of society. We addressed this question using a behavioural economics approach (Feicht et al. 2016; Valente, 2015) and ran several lab experiments and a behavioural questionnaire at the University of Florence and at the University of Glasgow.
74 decision makers attended the experiment sessions, 36 from SEs (11.4% of the SE population) and 38 from OTEs. All decision makers lived and worked in the same, culturally homogeneous metropolitan area of the cities of Florence, Prato and Pistoia.
The behavioural experiment was run over four different sessions, where all decision makers had to come to the computer lab of the University of Florence to play a market game. Each participant was then given an identification number (ID) and directed to the lab, where the researchers conducted the experiment. The researchers did not know the participants’ identities.
In the lab experiments, decision makers of SEs and of OTEs had to make incentivised decisions in a fully computerised simulated market.

The main results are the following:
The variables of interest in the simulated market are the quality of the goods offered and the mark-up (price minus quality) required by the subjects in the game rounds. The actual outcomes in terms of the social impact and realised profits are also relevant to our analysis, in particular whether or not those variables are affected by the relative presence of SEs in each market.
The quality offered does not differ significantly between the two types of decision makers in general, whereas the Social do offer more quality than their counterparts in the mixed groups.
The most important differences between the two types of decision makers are found in terms of mark-up and profits, both of which are larger for the OTE decision makers (DMOTE) than for the SE decision makers (DMSEs). This effect is particularly strong if one compares the two kinds of homogeneous groups. In fact, in homogeneous groups, where the market is populated only by DMOTEs or DMSEs, the latter ask for significantly lower prices and provide higher quality than the former. This dynamic is not present in mixed markets. This could suggest that for some services in which the public has an interest in maintaining accessibility, it could be more convenient for society as a whole to create a market only for SEs.
Perhaps surprisingly, the social impact of the various markets does not vary significantly from the composition of the various groups, so the number of (presumably) socially oriented subjects does not affect the resulting social impact on average. This can also be explained because the social impact calculated in the experiment depended on the social quality of the goods produced and on the market share obtained by the decision makers of the two groups. DMSEs in mixed groups generally obtained a smaller market share, even if providing a relatively higher quality. This could mean that in situations where there are SEs and OTEs, policy interventions may be required by public authorities to artificially enlarge the market share of SEs in order to have more social impact.
Overall results suggest that there are indeed significant differences in the market dynamic generated by the DMSEs and DMOTEs However, none of the expected results are borne out by the experimental evidence. The DMSEs do not offer significantly more quality and the external effect due to markets with more DMSE types is no greater. Only when the market is mixed are dynamics in line with the expectation that DMSEs offer more quality than DMOTEs.
In general, the type of decision maker does not appear to be a good indicator of social outcomes due to the business choices that are simulated in the experiment.
These results are quite interesting since they give us food for thought about markets and interactions between decision makers with supposedly different objectives. The common understanding of SEs leads us to think that DMSEs will take more pro-social decisions and therefore achieve greater social impact. However, the results of this first experiment appear to partially challenge this understanding.
More research is needed to better assess these interactions and to fully understand behaviours of both DMSEs and DMOTEs.

WP 3 Social Capital of Social Entrepreneurs
Another results WP3 has been the publication of the report on the social capital of social entrepreneurs. We measured the characteristics of social capital as related to social enterprises in 10 European countries. We made several important findings, especially in support of the claim that social enterprises mobilise social capital (as indicated before by Evers, 2001).
Moreover, the research documented a visible difference between the much higher level of social capital generated in “old enterprises” (established before 2006) compared to “younger enterprises” (established after 2012). This means that over time the “old enterprises” weave the many social relationships which become a source of support. These results may also suggest that the “old enterprises” successfully underwent critical phases of organisational development (implementing solutions that allowed them to function and thrive) while the unsuccessful units did not manage to survive. This selection process may still be ahead of “younger enterprises”.
Additionally, the results showed that socio-economic organisations, which combine social goals with economic activity, tend to obtain higher levels of trust and a sense of support among their members compared to non-profit and for-profit organisations.
It is also interesting to note that the level of cooperation tends to be higher in relationships perceived as “distant” (weak ties) and lower in those perceived as “close” (strong ties). This means that they are not entrenched in close-knit circles. On the contrary, the entrepreneurs within social enterprises are open to cooperation with new and distant partners, which is promising for the development of their organisations.
Our results have documented a high level of social capital in the area of social economy in all 10 European countries. Moreover, all types of social enterprise studied demonstrate a high level of social capital.
As the issue of trust and cooperation appears crucial for social economy, we would recommend including Social Capital Modules in the training for social entrepreneurs. There appears to be a consensus that social capital generates economic capital, as there are many untapped resources embedded in the network of relationships.

WP 4 Mapping stakeholders networks
WP4 main results have been the design and analysis of stakeholders’ maps in the project partner countries through which it is possible to have an overview of SEs’ stakeholders in different countries and the relations between them.
The research data that has been used to develop the stakeholder typology of social enterprise ecosystems is based upon primary data gathering that took place across the 11 partner countries and comprised of 117 one-to-one interviews and 20 focus groups involving 141 participants. The total number of participants engaged in the research was therefore 258 social enterprise stakeholders. These data were then used to produce 11 stakeholder maps – one for each country – designed to identify the key stakeholders involved in each country’s social enterprise ecosystem and categorise the types of relationships that exist between them. The data and the maps produced from them were then analysed in order to develop the social enterprise ecosystem typology that is presented below. The analysis revealed four ‘ecosystem types’ across the 11 partner countries: Statist-macro; Statist-micro; Private-macro; and Private-micro; as well as the identification of a pluralistic zone that sits across these four types. The characteristics of each type is summarised as follows:
• Statist-macro: This type is characterised by reliance on centralised state institutions at national or international levels, in which policy/funding mechanisms are utilised to support the development of social enterprises to deal with social problems. The ecosystems present within this typology are often less commercially sustainable as they are reliant on grant and/or directed funding and are homogenous in the types of social enterprises that emerge (particularly around work-integration social enterprises). There is a lack of localism and a lack of collaboration between stakeholders at the macro- and micro-levels, but relatively strong formalised social entrepreneurship education in schools. The countries within this type are: Albania; Austria; France; Poland; and Serbia.
• Statist-micro: While this type is also reliant on state institutions for funding and policy support, this is much more embedded at a local level through procurement and community initiatives. There is also widespread use of central state and European funding for local social enterprise support, with the former often being in the form of subsidised loans rather than grants. The localised nature of the ecosystems present within this typology leads to heterogeneity in the ecosystems present. Again, WISEs are common as the state sees social enterprises as a robust labour-market integration method for vulnerable groups. The countries within this type are: Scotland and Sweden.
• Private-macro: This type is characterised by a lack of state financial subsidy; however, the state does utilise policy in an effort to assist social enterprises to become more market orientated. Funding is therefore provided through competitive contracts and social investors, although the focus on social value in procurement varies at a local level (despite national attempts to encourage this. Inclusive labour-market policies are less common within this typology and formalised social enterprise education in schools is almost non-existent. The countries within this type are: England and Germany.
• Private-micro: Like the private-macro type, the private-micro type seeks to promote greater marketisation of the social enterprise sector and encourage income diversification. However, this is not driven at the macro-level by state policy, but at the local level by regional associations and local government. This type is characterised by capitalisation problems for social enterprises and diversity in policies to encourage labour-market integration. The formal education of social entrepreneurship in schools is almost non-existent and collaborative networks between the micro- and macro-levels are poor. The countries within this type are: Italy and the Netherlands.

The typology identified and the four types that exist within this, have important implications for those stakeholders that wish to support flourishing social enterprise ecosystems. Indeed, it has been identified within the EFESEIIS project that social enterprises are seeking survival within the turmoil of socio-economic systems (During et al., 2016) and that whilst this implies competition, there is in fact a growing number of collaborative stakeholders developing strategic partnerships (Hazenberg et al., In Press). This growth in collaboration is what can be termed the ‘pluralistic zone’ and the development of any of the four ecosystem types towards greater pluralism should be the goal of any stakeholder that wishes to develop robust social enterprise ecosystems that are better able to help solve Rittel and Webber’s (1973) ‘wicked problems’ and build more inclusive societies. This is because greater pluralism through diversified income; stakeholder collaboration; evidence-based policy; and cultural relativism provides social enterprise ecosystems with an enhanced ability to endure economic downturns, political volatility, and improve organisational performance. It is such pluralistic networks that allow social enterprises to see the ‘truth’ (Dey and Steyaert, 2012); resist dominant discourses (Jones et al., 2015); and act innovatively (Dey and Steyaert, 2016) by creating areas of low power distance (Puumalainen et al., 2015) and increasing trust and collaboration (Zafeiropoulou and Koufopoulos, 2013; Qureshi et al., 2016).

WP4- Recommendations to stakeholders
Another result of WP4 has been a list of recommendations to each type of stakeholders:

Recommendations to European policy makers

Engage in data gathering and develop a broad definition of SEs
The European Commission Social Business Initiative was a step in the right direction. Yet many obstacles for SEs remain that European-level influence upon policy could address. One of these obstacles is that Europe lacks a shared definition of social enterprises, which operate under diverse legal forms. However, this plurality could be recognized as a strength. The European policy focus should be aimed at further promoting knowledge of, and networks within, the social economy. This can be done by engaging in systematic data gathering of various types of social enterprise and their activities across Europe. Such a broad understanding should be shared through support organizations by all stakeholders ranging from the European, national and state level down to the local level.

Promote financial instruments that are designed for SEs
Additionally, European authorities should provide and encourage financial instruments designed to suit the particular needs of SEs. The empirical findings show that European Union policies are often too far removed from local level realities. Often, social entrepreneurs complained that national and regional bodies tend to dilute the effectiveness of policy programs and funding, such as the Social Business Initiative. To remedy this, it is recommended to offer financial instruments that target action at the local level, and directly to SEs rather than creating an ‘intermediary industry’. In this context, it would also be recommendable to promote the involvement of SEs in public contracts, particularly with local public authorities. Moreover, existing programs should be made more transparent and known to SEs. To broaden the funding opportunities for SEs, it is advisable to support a European-wide social investment policy. At the same time, European policy makers should promote innovative and flexible legal structures that offer funding opportunities for the various forms SEs take in member states, while recognizing that homogeneity of legal forms or local understandings of social enterprise activity is neither necessary nor advisable.

Recommendations to national policy makers

Promote SE activities and products
A supportive SE development ecosystem is one where the role of SE in a mixed economy is recognised and policies that facilitate this are uniformly implemented within administrative areas. Our findings suggest that no one has managed to create a ‘perfect’ ecosystem for social enterprise but there is certainly willingness and an opportunity to share knowledge and information to build on what already exists. Among the interventions that our findings suggest support an enabling ecosystem for social enterprise is raising awareness of SEs within each member state, with a particular focus on creating a market for SE products and services. For example, each country could encourage citizens and for-profit companies in order to promote consumption of goods and services offered by SEs. In this way creating a market for SE that enables sustainability rather than just funding activities.

Review procurement procedures
Procurement policies present obstacles for SEs. In many countries (e.g. Poland, Albania and Serbia) there appears to be a lack of focus or understanding of social and environmental values that, if embedded in commissioning and procurement processes, would benefit SEs and wider society. There is a need to educate officials and commissioners about the value of the social economy. While significant attention has been placed on educating SEs – the delivery side – those involved in the supply side (usually local authorities) also require to be educated in how to embed social and environmental value in competitive tendering processes. For one thing, public contracts are often too large, which often disadvantages small SEs in competition with their mainstream economy competitors. Moreover, officials are frequently not well informed about the value of the social economy and thus fail to recognise the particular benefits that local, often community-led organisational forms can bring to the delivery of public services. The main decision criterion for choosing a bidder is usually based upon price, without taking account of wider societal impact, an approach that often benefits large-scale commercial organizations. Smaller-scale contracts, with specific social benefit clauses would help SEs to participate in public procurement procedures and gain a foothold in the provision of public goods and services. There needs to be a focus on broadening the procurement rules to be more inclusive for SEs.

Reduce bureaucratic burdens
The terms of delivery in procurement contracts are often strictly defined by public authorities, placing SEs under rigid reporting obligations and leading to a bureaucratic burden. Additionally, several different departments within authorities can be in charge of administrative issues. Where public bureaucracy lacks integrated coordination, administrative procedures are highly complex and time consuming for smaller, socially-oriented organizations. It is therefore no surprise that for the vast majority of organizations bureaucracy is regarded as a central hindrance to their development. Due to these bureaucratic requirements, employees in SEs can feel overstrained, as they often lack the technical knowledge and time to respond to extensive reporting obligations. For this reason, both commissioning and procurement procedures, and also the reporting obligations of public contracts, have to be reduced to ease the bureaucratic stress that confront SEs. If, rather, SEs are forced to adapt to reflect the bureaucratic tendencies of public authorities, isomorphic tendencies will mean that they may lose sight of their social mission, and thus the added value that they could offer to public service delivery. Introducing more flexible funding guidelines and allowing for small changes in the project execution could also give SEs the ability and the breathing space to test creative solutions to social problems and discard less successful ones.

Promote the sustainability of SEs
There appears to be a trend to fund discrete SE activities rather than find ways to recognize their inherent benefit to society. Ring-fenced funding makes it difficult for SEs to develop a sustainable organizational infrastructure, with the result that they may lack resources to ensure the survival or growth. Even if they are able to persist, SEs commonly face difficulties in expanding. In the 100,000 to 500,000 Euro range in particular, there is a “valley of death” where SEs are not provided with the support they require to grow to the next level. In this way, the short-term availability of funds is contradictory to the long-term mission of SEs. Thus, to ensure that SEs are able to fulfill their social mission, there is a need for more sustainable, long term funding that is adapted to the relevant life-cycle phase of the SE. Additionally, encouraging income diversification seems to be a crucial measure to facilitate sustainability. On the one hand, this could be done by refining legal and financial frameworks in order to simplify taxation and promote the development of ethical banks and social loans. On the other hand, income sources could be diversified by developing state grant programs where none yet exist. Notably many post-socialist countries are missing state-wide grant support programs.

Implement education on social entrepreneurship
Some countries such as Sweden, Scotland, Serbia and Austria have incorporated entrepreneurship education in the formal education curricula and offer holistic courses at university level. In contrast, in many other countries (social) entrepreneurship education is still provided in a piecemeal fashion or is completely omitted. For this reasons, national policymakers should promote strategic and focused programs in schools, colleges and universities. This can be done by exchanging best practice between national and international stakeholders. Likewise, training courses for nascent and existing social entrepreneurs should be facilitated and connected to local networks. In particular, such training programs should teach social entrepreneurs the goals and work processes of public authorities, as well as how to bid for procurement and subsequently manage the complexity of delivering public contracts.
Recommendations to financial Institutions

Increase the accessibility of funding to SEs
SEs find it difficult to acquire loans from financial investors such as banks because they cannot offer sufficient guarantees. Instead, financial investors often administer financial support primarily by implementing specific funding lines. These lines often focus on specific funding priorities and link support to the fulfilment of specific funding criteria. This is problematic, since the funding lines rarely fit the specific financial needs of SEs. Often, they are not able to invest such funding freely, but are bound by externally imposed guidelines. Furthermore, it can be difficult for social entrepreneurs to link their projects to existing funding lines. To remedy this, financial institutions should gain a better understanding of the distinctive features of SEs and their peculiarities and increase the accessibility of funding to small SEs. SEs require funding which can be used flexibly according to the specific needs for their particular phase of development. Banks should be especially willing to take reasonable risks and provide loans at rates that are favourable to SEs. Possible grants and business support should be combined with financial advice.

Recommendations to social enterprise support organisations

Improving the exchange between promotors and SEs
The field of intermediary organizations promoting social entrepreneurs is broad and the range of services they provide is manifold. Services range from financial support at specific phases of the development process to consulting services in specific legal, personnel or financial questions. For social entrepreneurs it can be a problem to find the best source for their individual needs in this jungle of different services. In the same manner, intermediary organizations often have to take care that they do not duplicate the activities of the organisations they purport to support. The empirical findings of our project show that the level of networking between promoters depends on the employees themselves and their personal engagement. Subsequently, there is a need for more integrated networks and institutionalized coordination on the local level between facilitators and social entrepreneurs, but also among facilitators themselves. Such an exchange could be aided by installing a regularly updated overview of all actors working with social entrepreneurs in different fields.

Engagement with the development and distribution of impact measurement tools
The importance that SEs place upon presenting and ‘proving’ their impact, particularly to legitimize their work to potential investors, shows no sign of abating. Nevertheless, in some countries e.g. Scotland and Sweden, local governments have to become more aware of the amount of money that can be saved by investing ‘preventatively’ via social organizations to address social problems. In relation to this, SEs continue to lament the difficulty and complexity in measuring and reporting on social impact. In particular, small SEs bemoan the high administrative efforts and cost of doing so. In order to make the ecosystem more enabling, financial investors and supporting organizations could jointly engage in the development and distribution of more adequate and empowering tools e.g. in the form of qualitative instruments such as storytelling, and should further support SEs to engage in systematic impact measurement

Recommendations to social enterprises

Social entrepreneurs have to articulate what they need from policy makers and promoters
The needs of SEs are diverse and change according to their developmental stage. As mentioned above, the field of promoters is various but not always easy to understand and access, particularly for new entrants to the field. SEs are often called upon to ‘scale up’ their efforts. However, these scaling up strategies are often implemented too quickly with regard to the current stage of development of the SE. Moreover, there is a tendency to think narrowly about ‘scale’ as simply about growing larger, rather than deepening the level of impact. It is often difficult for social entrepreneurs to find a viable individual scaling strategy, and so they should clearly formulate their needs and problems they encounter and direct them to promoters and public actors.

Adequate pay and development opportunities for employees
In the early stages of development, SEs are busy shaping their own profile. Thus, like any rapidly growing organisation, the tasks of employees are subject to dynamic change. For this reason, SEs need staff that are all-rounders and are able to develop strategies and processes on their own accord. However, competitive tendering procedures and budgetary cuts in economically deprived municipalities induce cost and efficiency pressures on SEs. Likewise, small SEs rely heavily on earmarked funding, while neglecting their organizational infrastructure. Thus, they often miss the financial means to pay adequate wages which makes recruitment of qualified staff problematic. Despite these financial insecurities, SEs should be encouraged to be attractive, fair employers, with fair and transparent pay and working conditions. This may mean that the leaders of SEs should openly discuss with employees when pay rises are not possible due to the insecure financial situation of the organization, instead of making promises that cannot be kept. SEs can become attractive employees by opening-up development opportunities to employees. In order to achieve this objective, the founders or heads of the SEs should be encouraged, wherever appropriate, to hand over responsibilities to their team. Employees should be encouraged to attend networking events of the sector, increasing the employees’ impact and skill levels.

Invest in measuring (social and environmental) impact
It is increasingly important for organisations utilising public funds, or indeed claiming to contribute to wider communal benefits, to provide evidence of their impact. While, as mentioned, there are a variety of strategies that organisations can employ to evidence impact, and many lament the complexities and difficulties of measuring social impact, it is widely recognised that disseminating impact is beneficial to market the activities and achievements of SEs. SEs should devote time and energy in demonstrating their positive contribution to society and, in particular their commitment to remain rooted to their local communities.

Recommendations to corporate businesses

Engage in joint efforts with SEs
Relationships between SEs and the corporate business sector vary considerably in different countries. Nevertheless, corporate businesses and social enterprises can profit from cooperating with each other. SEs benefit from the infrastructure and network of corporate actors, while corporate businesses can be inspired by SEs on how to deal with social issues. For this reason, mainstream business actors should be encouraged to gain knowledge about SEs, and particularly on how to include SEs in their procurement and supply chains wherever possible, perhaps as part of existing Corporate Social Responsibility agendas. Furthermore, business actors and SEs could be encouraged to consider the benefits of bidding for public contracts in partnership with private companies.

WP 5 New Generation of Social Enterprises
Our main research objective was to verify the existence of a “new generation” of social enterprises and identify its specificities at the transnational level. Specifically, the analysis sought to explore the extent to which this supposed “new generation” of social enterprises: (1) scales up social innovation to address crucial community-related problems, reducing poverty, joblessness and a lack of reliable access to basic services such as education, energy, health, etc.; (2) utilizes different approaches from the previous generation to create social value; and (3) uses specific narrative modes to express its values, visions and organizational culture.
Social entrepreneurs are often addressed as a “heroic”, unique group of people (Light 2010; Zahra et al. 2009), focusing on the “personality” of social entrepreneurs and identifying very special traits, including a strong ethical fiber (Drayton 2002; Bornstein 1998), exceptional leadership skills (Thompson et al. 2000) and a passion to realize their visions (Bornstein 1998). However, these studies have an inherent problem of bias given that they only choose to analyse successful entrepreneurs (Mair and Marti 2005). In our inquiry, we attempted to overcome this bias by addressing this field from a much more critical perspective. We did not aim to identify typologies of social entrepreneurs, but rather to assess whether this perceived NGSE could actually be legitimately identified as such, with behaviors (i.e. in governance, use of networks, models of enterprise, values and driving forces, work styles, etc.) and needs that are different from previous conceptualizations of social enterprises.

Structural features
In selecting the “new generation” social enterprises for our sample, we privileged the foundation period as our main criterion while all the other variables were considered as features to be examined locally. We chose 2006 as the reference year due to two phenomena: in 2006, Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, giving rise to a series of initiatives to promote training, research, evaluation and consulting activities in relation to social enterprises in different European contexts; while the intensification of the economic crisis in Europe had a number of repercussions on the social enterprise sphere, with progressive cuts in public spending in several areas of welfare and a consequential intensification of unmet social needs. In turn, this led to the emergence of new areas of expression for social businesses.
Although the majority of the social enterprises selected are newly established, the sample also includes entities founded before 2006; however, over the last few years, these enterprises have radically reformed their organizational structure, taking on a more entrepreneurial vocation. A large proportion - half of the sample - got started between 2009 and 2011, during an intense economic crisis. The remaining enterprises are equally distributed from 2006 to 2008 (23%) and after 2012 (26%). In some cases, the foundation year only represents the moment of formalization at the end of an incubation period for an idea that originated in the past, while in other cases the biographies of the founders display previous attempts to create socially-oriented initiatives. Therefore, the story of the various phases of constituting the enterprise reveals a fragmented and rarely linear path.
One of the most difficult aspects to standardize is the formal-legal dimension. 44% of these companies are ordinary companies, generally small and in many cases sole proprietorships. Apart from their legal character, social enterprises (especially new generation ones) seek to maintain a balance - often precarious - between the need to make a positive social impact and the need to make their activity economically sustainable.
A significant feature of the enterprises in question is that they are relatively economically independent from the public system. In over the 70% of the cases examined, at least two-thirds of their income comes from non-public sources, while for 67.3% at least one-third is paid directly by final users. Furthermore, half of the enterprises included in the sample gain two-thirds of their income from non-public sources and one-third directly from final users. The source of economic revenue varies considerably: 80% of the respondents have their income generated from final users, 61.8% from other forms of fundraising (project-based, donors driven activities, etc.), 27.3% from public procurement and 60% from a mix of the aforementioned sources.
The reduced dimension of these companies in terms of income are in line with their small size in terms of workforce and number of employees: two thirds of respondents classified their enterprises as having fewer than ten full-time equivalents (FTEs). The work teams are often supplemented with occasional collaborators, partnership networks and volunteer work. This kind of work frequently spills over into the sphere of personal investment, aimed at ensuring self-employment, involving a strong identification with the enterprise. Participating individuals experience a continuity between “customer”, “supporter”, “volunteer”, “worker” and “member,” whereby this choice of how to involve human resources represents a peculiar aspect that distinguishes NGSEs from both conventional companies and non-profit or third-sector organizations.
It is not an easy task to summarize all the areas of intervention taken into account and, especially, to extrapolate generalizations. The main sectors, environment and sustainable development, Integration of disadvantaged categories, intermediate labor market initiatives for unemployed people, education-related services, health and disability-related services, include diverse sub-categories of intervention that end up overlapping and intertwining.

Settlement and enabling/disabling factors
Although many companies aspire to achieve a global presence, only 7% characterize their work as “essentially” targeting a global audience. Another aspect considered is the territorial/geographical presence. Whether the NGSE was located at the frontiers (margins), at the center or in expansion areas emerged as an important variable, given that these different positions truly raise distinctive challenges and opportunities for SEs. The first group comprises businesses headquartered in deprived or marginalized areas where people’s expectations are lower, opportunities are fewer and services are not straightforward to access or responsive to needs. These areas might be either urban and rural, and are characterized by a weakening of community bonds through discrimination, lack of skills, low income levels, limited employment opportunities, poor infrastructure and, in many cases, isolation. NGSEs still have a unique importance in such areas. The second type, social enterprises operating in areas currently undergoing requalification or expansion, is rather common among the case studies. The organizations located in areas subject to urban regeneration processes are a typical example. While it is true that urban regeneration can be a meaningful arena for neighborhood social entrepreneurship and community-driven alternatives to failing private and public markets, it is conceivable that social enterprises play a role that is less virtuous and more speculative in these contexts, acting in pursuit of private interests. In other cases, organizations prefer to be located in areas considered “central” because they enjoy greater institutional support and a more favorable ecosystem, as well as often being hotspots from a political perspective. This need is further intensified when the mission of NGSEs leads to them facing new challenges and emerging needs in a “glocal” way. Locating an enterprise in a strategic area can fulfill the need to give breath and visibility to its mission, or can be decisive in the pursuit of new trends or the attempt to anticipate them.
We also found the coexistence of different instances of innovation that vary in type and intensity which could be defined as “peak” or “leading-edge innovation” and “valley” or “cascade innovation”: on the one hand there are innovative processes developed based upon a profound understanding of the context and a well-reasoned analysis of its problems and opportunities; while on the other, there is a less marked form of innovation arising from the transfer of solutions that have already been tested.
The most frequently-mentioned disabling factors include legal constrains, a lack of institutional support, bureaucracy and increasing administrative efforts, dependency on private donations, subjection to founders’ personalities and popularity, weak business engines, being too project-dependent, a lack of reserves and a lack of qualified personnel.
Among these issues, economic and financial weakness of firms particularly stands out.
Due to their hybrid model, SEs are called upon to privilege their vocation of making a social impact over profit or figures in the financial statement, with the result that the latter area is often disregarded. The most common problem is precisely their weak business engine.
A number of enabling factors also emerged, including informal networks, the role of donors and sponsors, the support of business angels, incubators, mentoring and umbrella organizations as well as celebrities, testimonials and journalists, but also awards and prizes. The economic crisis is considered both a limit and an opportunity. In fact, NGSEs gain their energy from reduced public spending, owing to the associated increase in social needs.

Biographical traits
The human dimension of social enterprises is crucial, which is equally true of new generation ones. In fact, the human dimension is - if possible - even more key for these entities than for the most common and conventional organizations engaged in social work. The average age of founders is around 42 years, which calls into question a persistent myth in the world of “new” social enterprises suggesting a direct correlation between the new generation of social enterprises and the new generation as a whole. The female component of founders - confirmed by the EFESEIIS survey targeting 318 NGSEs (WP3) - is well represented, averaging around 50%, a much higher percentage compared to the founders of both conventional businesses and social enterprises as well as organizations of earlier constitution.
The majority of people with a key role in these businesses come from one of two contexts: the business or other professional sector, or the world of activism in the social or political spheres. Beyond the importance of individual career paths and/or civic commitment, the experiences and existential events populating the biographies of social entrepreneurs play a crucial role in determining the choices and steps that shape the life cycle of a company. Nonetheless, the figure of the founder is insufficient to characterize the identity of these organizations. Our investigation seeks to emphasize the choral role of the enterprise, especially in the phase of its actual implementation. When analyzed through its human component, the new generation social enterprise appears a mesh of intentions and the result of a partially overlapping set of force fields:
• it represents an intermediate step along a transitional path for men and women in the midst of their existential journey, rather than young people looking for a first, uplifting work experience;
• it is a space for expression for a mostly feminine universe, eager to emerge and seize opportunities that are closer to their own inclinations and ambitions;
• it is sometimes experienced as a stopover for managers of companies active on the market, disappointed by the universe of values from which they came and interested in putting their skills to the service of a “good cause”;
• it can also be a testing ground for third-sector business operators who are dissatisfied with the traditional formulas of the non-profit sector, or simply concerned about the decline in the public market of social policies;
• for some, these organizations are spaces for sublimating and exorcizing personal traumas or pain, experiences of vulnerability and marginalization, thereby turning a personal affliction into a virtuous and edifying story to experience and recount to others;
• they typically represent a meeting place in which people recognize and celebrate a shared purpose and put into practice a form of involvement that goes well beyond the provision of wage labor, in an “enterprise” that is unavoidably fueled by common values, practices and languages.

Survival strategies
Research on NGSEs explores the productive engine of SEs, highlighting their most innovative aspects, encompassing - among others - governance and decision-making processes, gender or age balance, the use of ICT and social media, coping mechanisms and collaborative workstyles. Social innovation appears to be an essential ingredient of NGSEs, which particularly translates into the tendency to turn problems into opportunities. In fact, the experiences described here highlight the importance of implementing coping strategies to overcome the obstacles that are encountered along the way. At the same time, they prompt us to reflect about the adaptation and resilience shown by this new generation of social enterprises, as well as their propensity to work in networks and give rise to forms of collaborative economy.
Social innovation is scattered and disseminated at multiple moments throughout the case studies, in their stories and phases of development. Many companies are distinguished by the way in wghich they envisage the use of space, both physical and virtual. Hotels, restaurants or pubs rediscover new vocations, become spaces of co-working and co-creation, the expression and aura of the spirit of a community. The same is true of web pages that explore new dimensions of 2.0 sociality. The concept of reshaping space can also be understood in a broad sense, revealing a rather cross-cutting propensity for reinventing disruptive practices in relation to conventional codes that are characteristic of both the business world and the third/non-profit sectors. Nonetheless, less than half of the SEs that we encountered seemed to invest mainly and decisively in ICT and social media, which casts doubts upon clichés of a close tie between SEs, social innovation, technological innovation and social media.
Many NGSEs cultivate a strong educational vocation, cross-cutting the types and scopes of intervention in which they engage. Some display a tendency - almost a specific need - to grow in a rapid and unbalanced way, pursuing paths that a traditional enterprise would not dare to follow without first having consolidated its business model. The possibility to exploit the social economy and incorporate it in conservative rather than transformative ways is displayed – at least potentially – in some of the cases analyzed. By facilitating the transfer of services out from the state, there is also the risk that NGSEs may contribute to the state of affairs in which local communities are obliged to increasingly manage their own welfare.

WP6 The Role of Main Institutions

main results of the WP have been the two reports and scientific publications on the role of institutions, and in particular of education and welfare in promoting/hampering the development of social enterprises written by the University of Southern Denmark and Sciences PO. Hereafter an extract of the results:

1. The role of the EU

At the EU level, entrepreneurship has increasingly come into focus as a potential stimulus for societal value creation. Beyond declarations, progress is not easily achieved. In particular, the issue of the European statutes of social economy has never been met, despite several projects (Pezzini and Pflüger, 2013). Although the statute for a European cooperative was adopted in 2003, those for a European mutual and a European association have never emerged. In each instance, the intergovernmental negotiations failed and consequently the European Commission was unable to find a compromise. Launched in 2011, the Social Business Initiative had the merit to put the social economy onto the European agenda and foster debate at the national level. An expert group on social business was thus created by the Commission, which is still working in 2016. However, the Juncker Commission’s position is weak and has decided to “clear the table”, namely eliminating all issues that are not unanimously approved by Member States. Consequently, social entrepreneurship is no longer a European priority but rather is considered as falling under the responsibility of national governments.

2. School systems and learning

Throughout the eleven countries studied, the lower tier of education (compulsory school) seems to have very little room for social entrepreneurship and innovation in general; instead, most courses devoted to these issues take place in higher education, such as universities and equivalent colleges. This “academisation” of the subject is unfortunate, as it limits the scope of social entrepreneurship to a group in society that is least likely to be socio-economic vulnerable. Moreover, the subject itself is less likely to have the practical, inclusive and dialog-based approach that the reality of social entrepreneurship requires when taught academically.
Nonetheless, there are some good examples of peer learning, sharing experiences and communities of practice-type centers. Scotland has perhaps the most supportive environment in Europe, with several bodies offering courses and management support for social entrepreneurs (reference). In the Netherlands, social entrepreneurs have formed Social Enterprise NL, which offers peer learning, coaching, master classes and legal advice for their members and aspiring social entrepreneurs. France has regional councils of social and solidarity economy, which offer channels of communication with the local and national authorities, while in Sweden the government has tried to roll out various support programs, although these have often been tied to higher education and have not been very successful in inducing peer learning or sharing practical knowledge between social entrepreneurs. Moreover, across (almost) all of Europe, the Innovation Impact Hub - like other intermediaries - offers similar support either during the start-up face or to accelerate innovation process within the social area.
Many learning and capacity-building initiatives are still managed in a top-down manner and are concentrated towards higher education institutions, hinting at difficulties in finding a model of encouraging the management and organization of social entrepreneurship in groups of society that probably need it the most. In order to reach a broader spectrum of classes, social entrepreneurship has to be taught earlier in schools, with a greater emphasis on peer learning.

3. Financial support

A lack of access to funding is generally highlighted as major obstacle for social entrepreneurs to start and grow their operations. Very few countries have large funds that specifically target social entrepreneurship and even fewer that stretch over a longer period, meaning that most social enterprises are forced to look for alternative financing options, given that they face difficulties in accessing the mainstream financial sector. Funding are various and come from selling services and/or products, crowdfunding and donations, private capital from friends and family, as well as public funds directed at various welfare provisions, starting up on very minimal funds, mainly investing their own time and money. Furthermore, international NGOs, foreign aid organizations and philanthropic organizations are common sources of investors, mainly in Eastern countries.
However, the difficulty seems to relate to convincing traditional financers to invest in a venture that might not have a defined mature market in today’s business sense. The dilemma facing existing and prospective social entrepreneurs is that to access financial capitals on the market, they need to present a business plan and demonstrate a managerial thinking making them more similar to mainstream entrepreneurship, thus granting access to financial systems, albeit at the cost of losing the spirit and essence of being a social entrepreneur. Accordingly, the question that beckons is how to maintain the traits of being a social entrepreneur while organizing economic activities in a manner and language that satisfies the financial system.
The dilemma is similar when turning to public funds to finance operations: in order to fulfill requirements, adequately report on spending and results, manage transparency and fulfill bureaucratic regulations, social entrepreneurs can be “trapped” by the dependency of public funding, slowly turning into local branches of government through the process of organizational isomorphism (Di Maggio and Powell, 1983). The current trends of managerialism and bureaucratic requirements within the public sector will eventually “rub-off” on the social entrepreneur as a service provider, adding layer after layer of bureaucracy to its organization and eventually making it indistinguishable from any other public organization, especially when scaling up and expanding its operations.
Financial issues are evidently not only technical but to some extent also have political implications. The type of funding (whether public or private) and the procedure to access it (whether more or less stable and/or time-consuming) have a direct impact on how social enterprises work, the kind of services they deliver and which group or population they target (Chabanet, 2017).

4. What can institutions do for SE?
The institutionalization of social entrepreneurship is a particularly complicated process. Social entrepreneurship's strength is based upon the notion that it is rooted in specific local contexts and primarily grows in a close relationship with the public that it serves. However, public policies that assist social entrepreneurship - whether local, national or European - often aim to increase its weight and size to change its scale. This shift from "small" to "large" and from "local" to "national" is often a challenge for national governments, given that they have to consider the territorial specificities of social entrepreneurship. Given the diversity of social entrepreneurship organizations, policies supporting its development usually follow a "bottom-up" process and are implemented at the municipal or regional level. To summarize, it is difficult to promote social entrepreneurship nationally while maintaining its (social) identity and values. Moreover, the credibility of the social economy and its ability to grow are closely linked with its social impact and thus how it is measured, reflecting an issue of strong discussion and controversy. However, this debate is necessary and identifies two orientations that are difficult to reconcile: on the one side, in times of crises, policy-makers are frequently interested in social entrepreneurship, primarily perceiving it as a way to fight unemployment and thus playing a kind of reparative function; and on the other side, social entrepreneurs want to make a lasting contribution to reducing social inequalities, promoting a sustainable economic system and a fair world. Accordingly, social entrepreneurship must find a balance between these two directions and somehow satisfy the needs of both policy-makers (politicians) and practitioners (social entrepreneurs).

WP7 Evolutionary theory

WP7 main result has been the understanding that Evolutionary theory can be used to find the ambiguities which determine evolutionary progress. It can be used to account for major differences between countries and also for reflecting on the transformative power of social enterprise. Applying the theory implies a discussion on variation, selection and heredity as the three basic principles of evolution. Stepping stones, being part of evolutionary theory, may help to account for publicly recognised anchor points in the evolution. Tipping points also help to find the phases of ambiguity after which the evolution is accelerated or slowed down.
Ambiguities are always embedded in fierce debates or are the result of conflicting lobbies. One such ambiguity lies in the use of public funding for the sector. From a neo-liberal ideological perspective, the best enterprises manage to acquire their resources from their end-users and are able to scale up towards big firms. In reality, many of the societal need co-creation between the social enterprise sector and the public administration, wherein the use of public funds is unavoidable. Many success stories try to prove the opposite.
Another ambiguity deals with definitions - does a definition help the sector forward or not? A further ambiguity lies in diminishing the administrative burden. Should standards for a social service rely on the nature of a provider, being either an entrepreneur or a social service institute? As tipping points, the ambiguities temporarily slow down the evolution, prior to further acceleration or stagnation.
The theory helps to account for the great differences in the ways that the sector has matured and developed across Europe. In Poland one can see the presence of the Solidarnosc Movement in the social enterprise sector, serving as an important symbolic stepping stone. In the Netherlands the political striving to engage the philanthropy sector in the social enterprise sector can be seen as a tipping point in which ambiguity of ‘giving versus investing’ plays a significant role. In Italy the sector encountered the ancient structure of the Roman Catholic Social Co-operatives, very well anchored in history, leaving only limited space for new niches, a major determinant throughout the evolution. In Scotland the evolution in the cities differs profoundly from that in rural areas, where a social entrepreneur could learn from older community businesses.
The radiation and impact of the social enterprise sector across Europe in some contexts is rather modest and in others almost system hacking. It seems that society is changing for the better although the end of this evolution is not yet within sight.

WP8 Enabling Ecosystem

WP8 main result is a framework to analyse Social Enterprises ecosystem and the enabling/blocking factors at the ecosystem level. The framework has been built by PIN thanks to the insights received by project partners and the research activities done during all the project, in particular the survey in WP3 and the analysis on WP4.
In addressing the issue of what constitutes an enabling ecosystem for SEs all of these factors should be taken into account and viewed as an evolutionary process. The present work aims to provide the reader with some reflections on the concept of an enabling ecosystem for SEs, and deems to define its features.
The features of an enabling ecosystem can be divided in two broad categories. The first category consists of those features that meet the specific needs of SEs, such as training, consultancy, and funding, as well as those attributes that regulate their activities and existence, such as the local legal framework. We can refer to these features as the “hardware” of the ecosystem. The hardware co-evolves according to the activities, the level of development of SEs, and the type, prevalence, preferences and choices of the different actors in the ecosystem.
For example, financial instruments such as social impact bonds are part of enabling ecosystems characterised by structured SEs and strong financial and public institutions such as those found in the UK. Hardware features have an important role in creating an enabling ecosystem since the daily operations of SEs depend on them. Moreover, they also have the advantage of being easily verifiable, and for this reason they are often used (EC, 2015) to map ecosystems and to assess whether they support SEs or not.
An exclusive focus on hardware however, implies that relevant information on other important aspects of the ecosystem may be missing. In particular, it is important to consider how the ecosystem develops over time as well as its resilience and reproduction.
The notion of resilience refers to the extent to which the ecosystem is able to respond to, and recover from, internal and external shocks. These include natural disasters, wars, and economic crises, as well as sudden shifts in policies or legal frameworks (such as, opening up a protected national market to international competition).
The notion of reproduction is concerned with the sustainability of the ecosystem and how far its constituent elements are able to reproduce themselves over time. The features that characterise the evolution of ecosystems and make SEs resilient and capable of reproduction are rooted in society (or the parts of it) in which each ecosystem is embedded. Such features are the “software” that represent the second defining characteristic of an enabling ecosystem. Software features include history, culture, informal norms, behaviours, values, trust and reciprocity, social capital, perceptions of the common good, willingness to promote human development, and sensitivity to social problems (amongst other things).
These features are present in each ecosystem but with considerable differences across time and place. Such differences prompt different evolutionary paths for SEs as well as for the ecosystem itself. For example, Italy and most western European countries have a long history of civil society organizations that reflect expressions of the common good, inclusive development, self-help and a strong sense of community. Such organizations contribute to creating and keeping alive social capital as well as promoting an inclusive society. Therefore, they reproduce the software features of the ecosystem. These features led to the creation of mainly cooperative SEs, and subsequently, to the creation of hardware features, such as a legal framework that recognizes them together with services and infrastructures that address to various degrees, their needs and thus facilitate their development. In other countries, such as Albania, software features are different from those in Italy and France, mainly due to historical differences that substantially affected the evolutionary trajectory of the societies and the economies. These features produced an ecosystem that does not enable the creation of SEs and consequently of the hardware features necessary for their development.
Software features have not only been prerequisites for the birth of many SEs but also facilitate their resilience and reproduction within ecosystems. Features such as culture, social capital, and views of the common good, are usually rooted in society and change over a longer time frame than hardware features. For this reason, they constitute the backbone of the enabling ecosystem to which the policies, legal framework and the actions of different stakeholders can refer to during endogenous or exogenous crisis. However, software features can not only enable the birth and development of SEs but can also hinder them. This happens when the core values of a society do not reflect those represented by the SE (such conflicts in values may relate to things like drawing on privately owned activities to solve problems, conceiving of enterprises as not only for personal profit, valuing the inclusion of disadvantaged people in the production or consumption process). If such vales are not widely diffused within society as a whole, SEs will be rarely found or will become embedded in ecosystem that do not enable them to flourish.

Four ideal-types of ecosystems can be found. These categories are abstractions for analytical purposes. In real life it might be difficult to find an ecosystem that closely reflects one of these ideal-types, and most existing ecosystems will be positioned at a certain distance from the extremes of the matrix (i.e., may have something in common with more than one category of ecosystem).
An ecosystem, irrespective of where it is positioned at a certain point in time, can move within the matrix as a result of internal-external policies, endogenous development, cultural changes or shocks (amongst other things).

Case 1: The “Arid ecosystem”
The software and hardware governing the ecosystem that has the potential to enable SEs to thrive are either missing altogether or are only present at low levels. This could be the result of a history of totalitarianism, which has depleted the social fabric, as well as the trust and reciprocity, self-initiative, participation, and commitment to common good amongst players.
This kind of system could develop as an “artificial ecosystem” through targeted top-down policies and/or exogenous actions (such as development programs).
Over a longer period this kind of ecosystem could develop into a fertile ecosystem through continuous long-term formal and informal education, in order to change the underlying culture and values. It could also develop after an external shock, such as an economic crisis or natural disaster that obliges people to drastically change how they perceive society as well as the objectives they pursue and the means through which they are achieved.

Case 2: The “Artificial ecosystem”
The artificial ecosystem has the potential to enable SEs to be set up through top-down policies or development programs. One peculiarity of this system is that even though it provides valuable “hardware” components for SE, the relevant enterprises themselves (especially those that tend to emerge through bottom-up processes) are typically absent from the system. This may occur because people are not interested in establishing SEs in the first place, as they might not have reason to value them.
This type of ecosystem is less resilient and less able to reproduce itself, as it lacks a solid social base. For instance, this might be the case if an artificial ecosystem built by an international donor for a specific locality lacked ownership from stakeholders and effectively reverted to being an “arid ecosystem” after funding ended.

Case 3: The “Fertile ecosystem”
The fertile ecosystem has software features that enable SEs to thrive, but lack the necessary hardware. There are two main explanations for fertile ecosystems: (1) SEs are not adequately perceived as important actors in the system; and/or (2) the ecosystem has insufficient resources to develop hardware features.
The first case mostly concerns those countries that rank higher in terms of economic and human development, and have less social and economic needs to address. In such ecosystems SEs are not regarded as essential. Thus, even though the society in question has the right software, there is no actual need or desire to develop SEs. It may also be assumed that in this case the welfare state will play the main role, and SEs, if any, will be left with little more than a residual role. Since SEs generally emerge to cope with new social needs that are not (or cannot be) sufficiently met by the welfare state. It follows that this type of “fertile ecosystem” might develop hardware features if communities or policy makers need to find other solutions to tackle social problems, or need to innovate in order to solve existing problems.
The second case concerns countries that need SEs because the welfare state is weak or non-existent, but lack the necessary resources to develop the right kind of hardware. This type of fertile ecosystem could develop into an enabling one following external investments (for example from bilateral or multilateral donors) or internal economic growth that provide the necessary resources to build the hardware.

Case 4: The “Enabling ecosystem”
The “enabling ecosystem” is generally better placed to reproduce itself over time and resist external shocks than other ecosystems. In its purist form, the enabling ecosystem does not present SEs with any difficulties over the course of their development. However, under certain circumstances even an “enabling ecosystem” can be transformed into one of the other three kinds of ecosystems. It could, for instance, turn into an “artificial ecosystem” if the social fabric of the system deteriorates over a long period of time, and social capital and pro-social values are lost. An “enabling ecosystem” could also degrade into a “fertile ecosystem” if the necessary hardware features are lost. This could be a consequence of political changes or in extreme cases, protracted conflicts. However, following a crisis, the enabling ecosystem may be able to rapidly bounce back following endogenous or exogenous interventions due to high resilience capacities.

Potential Impact:
Impact for policy makers at the European, National and Local level:
The advices provided in WP2 and WP4 as well as the results of WP8 can have a direct impact on the policy makers directly involved in the project as stakeholder (such as the Tuscany Region as regional authority and Ministry of Labour Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities of Albania) as well as other policy makers interested in creating an enabling environment for social enterprises. Moreover, the results of the behavioural experiment in WP3 suggest that competition based on price reduces the pro-social behaviour of Social Entrepreneurs thus reducing the positive social impact on society. This has implications for public tenders and shows the need to achieve social and environmental goals, as foreseen in the Public Procurement Directive 2014/24/EU. Policy advices elaborated in the frame of EFESEIIS project have been summed up in a policy brief submitted to the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities. A first implementation of WP8 results has been done in the “Social Business City Program” which will be from now on evaluated by implementing organizations using the framework.

Impact on EU policies
EFESEIIS contributes to the policy aim of having regions “amongst the most innovative in the world” with “economies supported by some of the world's most dynamic public services and strong traditions in social innovation”. WP3, 5, 7, and 8 developed a better understanding of social innovation and entrepreneurship and the relations with the public sector. The project has expanded the existing knowledge base on available support for social enterprise: what works best, and in what circumstances. This informs future policy development at both Commission and Member State levels, thus encouraging social innovation and social enterprise activity not just to grow, but to thrive.

Impact for banks and other financial and financing institutions:
The project provides useful data to banks and other financial institutions on the finances used by social entrepreneurs especially as a result of WP3. The data from WP3 and advices delivered in WP2 and WP4 can have a direct impact on the stakeholders associated to the project that finance, with different means, social entrepreneurs (Banca Etica, Bank für Sozialwirtschaft AG, Fondazione Un Raggio di Luce, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia e Pescia). Moreover, the project delivered an analysis of constraints reported by social entrepreneurs that included a set of financial issues hindering the growth of social enterprises.

Impact for enabling organizations:
The project provides useful data and knowledge also for all those organizations that facilitate, in different ways (through consultancy, network, knowledge sharing, etc.) social entrepreneurship. The advices given in WP2 and 4 will have a direct impact on the stakeholders involved in the project. Furthermore, the analysis of constraints will provide enabling organizations with a set of factor to overcome in order to create an enabling ecosystem for social entrepreneurship.

Impact on social entrepreneurs
The project doesn’t have a direct impact on social entrepreneurs as the impact on them is mainly achieved as a result of the impact on the other stakeholders. However, the project provides social entrepreneurs with the possibility to improve their knowledge on social entrepreneurship in other countries through results of the survey carried out in WP3 as well as the case studies of WP5. Moreover, by providing a greater understanding of social entrepreneurship and the role of social entrepreneurship in Europe as well as in other non-European countries, the project contributes to reinforce the identity and the image of the social entrepreneur.

Impact on the academic community
To provide a solid contribution to the academic literature on social entrepreneurship, social enterprises, social inclusion and social innovation was one of the main aim of our consortium. The research project will achieve impact on the academic community by suggesting Evolutionary Theory (WP7) as an interpretative key to understand the evolutionary paths of social entrepreneurship. Moreover, the definition and analysis of Enabling Eco-System for Social Entrepreneurship (WP8) will contribute to bridge a gap between works on social entrepreneurship and works on local development. The impact on the academic community is provided by the scientific papers, working papers, books, conference proceedings and other publications that the partners will produce. The consortium is now committed to publish a scientific, peer-edited volume capable of presenting all the main results of our research; to this aim, the consortium prepared a proposal for a well-known international publisher and is in the phase of receiving reviews from anonymous referees.

Main Dissemination activities
The project partners worked to increase the project visibility towards the relevant stakeholders. The results of the WPs (2-3-4-5-6-7-8) have been disseminated to the general public through an easy-to-read booklet “An insight on project results” which is available on the project website and which also contains policy advices. As a result of events and face-to-face meetings, as well as of internet promotion, the project Facebook page has reached 1067 followers and the project website has been visited by 8.332 during the project duration. The partners organized three international events in Warsaw (17/02/2015), Tirana (9/12/2016 and 10/12/2016) and Brussels (08/11/2016). 58 stakeholders (banks, incubators, association of category, etc.) took part to the event in Warsaw. 40 stakeholders and 56 students discussed preliminary research results in Tirana. The final event in Brussels saw the participation of 47 persons among stakeholders and project partners. Main dissemination activities towards the general public, scientific community and policy makers have been done through the participation of project partners to several events and academic conferences. Project results have been disseminated approximately to 4,900 people during events. The project results will be further disseminated through a scientific book targeted to an international audience, primarily academics and practitioners. The book proposal is currently under review by a well-known international publisher. During the project, several scientific papers on project results have been written and presented. 5 of them have already been published, 2 will be published during the year, 7 are under review and 3 are under submission. The project partners foresee to write additional papers in the next years based on the project’s results.

Exploitation of results
The results coming from the survey on 1,100 social enterprises, implemented in WP3, contribute to provide knowledge to all stakeholders on different aspects of SEs: general characteristics, gender, social enterprise definition, financial resources, motivations, challenges and obstacles, new generation of social enterprises, stakeholders engagement, social capital, innovative practices. This data that can be used by banks, foundations, local authorities and governments to gain a better knowledge of social enterprises and draft policies and projects for them. Data will also provide a benchmark for social enterprises around Europe. The results on the evolutionary theory on social entrepreneurship in WP7 and those on the behavioural features of social entrepreneurs in WP3 will contribute to the academic debate on social entrepreneurship in the next years. Moreover, the results of the behavioural experiment in WP3 suggest that competition based on price reduces the pro-social behaviour of social entrepreneurs thus reducing the positive social impact on society. This has implications for public tenders and shows the need to achieve social and environmental goals, as foreseen in the Public Procurement Directive 2014/24/EU. The results on WP8 will contribute to draft policies aimed at creating enabling ecosystems for SEs. A first implementation of WP8 results will be carried out through the “Social Business City Program” which will be from now on evaluated by implementing organizations using the framework. The results of the project will also be used in classes, courses and events held by project partners. Hereafter a list of foreseen activities:
• The project and the findings in relation to stakeholder networks and social enterprise ecosystems have now become a permanent lecture (titled: Social Enterprise Eco-systems: International Comparisons) on the University of Northampton’s ‘Enterprise in Society’ module (MKT2028);
• A large conference where the findings of the project will be presented to a wide national audience is planned for 2017 in Serbia;
• Presentation and event involving the Glasgow Social Enterprise Network to disseminating the findings to the local social enterprises and stakeholders;
• Idea of developing a lecture and a seminar as part of the MSc Social Business and Microfinance at Glasgow Caledonian University using EFESEIIS study and findings;
• Further research and collaboration between some Project Partners in the framework of the FAB-MOVE project (Marie Curie/RISE, 2016-2018);
• Lectures in the courses of Development Economics at the University of Florence titled “How to create an enabling eco-system for Social Entrepreneurship” and “Social Enterprises, social business and social entrepreneurship in local development”;
• Lectures given by the Yunus Social Business Centre University of Florence and the research centre ARCO (Action Research for CO-development) of PIN S.c.r.l.;
• The UN team is planning to produce an additional conference paper on ‘The role of institutions and power in the English SE ecosystem’ to be presented at the 9th ISIRC conference in Melbourne 12th-14th December 2017.

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