Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details

International Review of Social Research

2 Issues per year

Open Access
Online
ISSN
2069-8534
See all formats and pricing

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

References

  • Anheier, H. K. (2005) Non-profit Organizations, Theory, Management, Policy. London and New York: Routledge.

  • Bacchiega, A. and C. Borzaga (2003) ‘The Economics of the Third Sector: Towards a more Comprehensive Approach’ In Anheier, H. K. and A. Ben-Ner (eds.) The Study of The Nonprofit Enterprise, Theories and Approaches, 3-26. Dordrecht: Kulwer.

  • Borzaga, C and L. Becchetti (2011) The Economics of Social Responsibility: The world of Social Responsibility. London: Routledge.

  • Borzaga, C., G. Galera and R. Nogales (eds.) (2008) Social Enterprise: A New Model for Poverty Reduction and Employment Generation. Bratislava: UNDP Regional Bureau For Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

  • Borzaga C. (1988) ‘La cooperazione di solidarietà sociale: prime riflessioni su un settore emergente’. In Carbonaro, A. and S. Gherardi (eds.) ‘I nuovi scenari della cooperazione in Italia: problemi di efficacia, efficienza e legittimazione sociale’, Sociologia del Lavoro, 30-31 (Angeli):266-301.

  • Borzaga C. And G. Failoni (1990) ‘La cooperazione di solidarietà sociale in Italia’. Cooperazione e Credito 128:273-297.

  • Borzaga C. and J. Defourny (2001) The Emergence of Social Enterprise. London: Routledge.

  • Borzaga, C and A. Ianes (2006) L’Economia della Solidarietà. Storia e Prospettive della Cooperazione Sociale. Roma: Donzelli Editore.

  • Borzaga, C. and E. Tortia (2007) ‘Social Economy Organizations in the Theory of the Firm’ In Noya, A. and E. Clearence (eds.) The Social Economy. Building Inclusive Economies, 23-53: OECD Publications.

  • Defourny, J. (2004) ‘Social Enterprises in an Enlarged Europe’, Paper presented at the 2nd European Social Economy Conference, October 28-29.

  • Defourny, J. and M. Nyssens (eds.) (2008) ‘Social enterprise in Europe: Recent Trends and Developments’. EMES Working Papers no. 08/01

  • Dilulio, J. (1996) ‘Help Wanted: Economists, Crime and Public Policy’, The Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, 10 (1):3-24.

  • Elstub, S. (2006) ‘Towards and Inclusive Social policy for the UK: The Need for democratic Deliberation in Voluntary and Community Associations’, Voluntas, 17(1):17-39.

  • Evers, A. (1998) ‘Consumers, Citizens and Co-producers’ In Floesser, G. and H.U. Otto (eds.) Towards More Democracy in Social Services, 43-51. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter.

  • Evers, A. and J.L. Laville (2004) The Third Sector in Europe. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

  • Galera, G. (2009) The impact of social enterprises on socio-economic development in transition countries: the cases of Poland and Ukraine. PhD Dissertation.

  • Galera, G. (2010) ‘Social enterprises and work-integration’ In Becchetti, L. and C. Borzaga (eds.), The Economics of Social Responsibility, 105-122. London: Routledge.

  • Glennerster, H. and J. Midgley (1991) The Radical Right and the Welfare State: An International Assessment. Savage, MD: Barnes and Noble.

  • Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (2004) Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: Focus on Social Entrepreneur. London Business School.

  • IRIS Network (2012) Rapporto Impresa Sociale 2012, forthcoming. IRIS Network.

  • Kerlin, J. (2006) ‘Social Enterprise in the United States and Europe: Understanding and Learning from the Differences’, Voluntas, 17(3):246-262.

  • Leś, E. and M. Jeliazkova (2007) ‘The Social Economy in Central East and South East Europe’ In Clarence, E. and A. Noya (eds.) The Social Economy. Building Inclusive Economies, Paris: OECD Publishing.

  • Levi, Y. (1999) ‘Community and Hybrid Multi-Stakeholder Co-operatives: A. Comparison’, Review of International Co-operation, 92: 83-94.

  • Monzòn Campos, J.L. (1997) ‘Contributions of the Social Economy to the General Interest’ In ‘Structural Changes and General Interest: Which paradigms for the public, social and co-operative economy?’ Annals of Public and Co-operative Economics, 68 (3):397-408.

  • Pankoke, E. (2004) ‘Voluntary Associations and Civic Engagement: European Traditions, Discourses and Perspectives for Voluntary and Intermediary Networks’ In Zimmer, A and E. Priller (eds.) Future of Civil Society, 57-76. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag Für Sozialwissenschaften.

  • Pavolini, E. (2003) Le nuove politiche sociali. I sistemi di Welfare fra istituzioni e società civile. Bologna: Il Mulino.

  • Rodger, J. J. (2000) From a Welfare State to a Welfare Society, Houndmills, Basingstoke. Hampshire and London: Macmillan Press.

  • Taylor, M. (2004) ‘The Welfare Mix in the United Kingdom’ In Evers, A. and J.L. Laville (eds.) The Third Sector in Europe, 122-143. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

  • Todev, T., J. Brazda and R. Schediwy (1993) ‘Quo vadis cooperative Movement in Eastern Europe?’ In Economic Changes in Eastern Europe: Quo vadis Cooperative Movement?, 41-48. Berlin: Berliner Hefte zum internationalen Genossenschaftswesen 1, Veröffentlichung des Instituts für Genossenschaftswesen an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

  • Walzer, M. (1998) ‘The Concept of Civil Society’ In Walzer, M. (ed.) Toward a Global Civil Society, 7-27. Oxford: Berhahn Books.

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. Export Citation

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

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

[1]
Michael J. Roy, Cam Donaldson, Rachel Baker, and Susan Kerr
Social Science & Medicine, 2014, Volume 123, Page 182

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in