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International Review of Social Research

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2069-8534
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The Concept and Practice of Social Enterprise. Lessons from the Italian Experience

Carlo Borzaga
  • European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse) University of Trento
/ Giulia Galera
  • European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse)
  • Email:
Published Online: 2015-05-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/irsr-2012-0019

Abstract:

Social enterprises are increasingly regarded as successful mechanisms for reconciling equity and efficiency with the creation of economic and social value, and they can be interpreted as concrete expressions of a growing sense of social responsibility on the part of citizens. Research conducted in various geographical contexts corroborates that social enterprises are a structural trend, which cuts across countries with diverse characteristics. Following a historical contextualization of the social enterprise, the article focuses on a conceptual analysis. Next, attention is paid to the diffusion of social enterprises in the enlarged Europe, including countries where social enterprises have been acknowledged; countries where social enterprises are increasingly regarded as a unique way whereby unmet needs can be addressed; and countries where social enterprise-like initiatives happen to emerge despite the predominance of unfavourable conditions. Finally, attention is paid to social enterprises in Italy and specifically to the key factors explaining their success.

Keywords: social enterprise; cooperative; community engagement; decentralization of public competences; umbrella organizations; welfare system reform

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About the article

Published Online: 2015-05-06

Published in Print: 2012-06-01


Citation Information: International Review of Social Research, ISSN (Online) 2069-8534, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/irsr-2012-0019.

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© Carlo Borzaga et al. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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