Empowering the Next Generation of Social Enterprise Scholars

November 27, 2017 to November 26, 2021
48 months

Social enterprise (SE) are organizations which combine an entrepreneurial dynamic to provide services or goods with a primacy of social aims. SE naturally cross various types of borders; sectoral (public, business, cooperatives, associations), resources (drawing them from the market, public procurement, grants, and philanthropy) and activity fields (personal services, finance, recycling industry, energy and transport, food supply chains...).

This EMPOWER-SE Action aims at

(1) contributing to a comprehensive understanding of the diversity of SE models emerging across Europe and globally; their conditions of emergence and development; and their contribution to key industries for the development of sustainable societies by overcoming existing fragmentation in the levels of knowledge from both a geographical and a disciplinary point of view;

(2) empowering the next generation of SE scholars, focusing on expanding the SE scientific community to less research-intensive countries where it is still embryonic or non-existing; and

(3) fostering evidence-based policy from local to European levels and supporting the development of SE and their eco-systems in synergy with main industry representatives and stakeholders. The Action will implement networking mechanisms (working groups, conferences, meetings, workshops for policy-makers, local stakeholder talks, short-term scientific missions, training schools, communication tools including stakeholders briefs, and web-based dissemination) to connect fragmented communities and to contribute to closing the gap between the scientific community, policy- makers and society throughout Europe and beyond.


The core scientific impact is the development of original knowledge through the following:

Identifying and bridging the variety of SE conceptions and models by bringing together researchers from different geographical areas and different epistemological traditions. Gathering evidence and analysing the innovative contribution of SEs to key industries for the development of sustainable societies such as migration, renewable energy and transport, health and social care, food supply chains, social finance, circular economy. Scientific impact will be reached through working groups (WG), academic conferences, scientific publications, Training Schools, and STSM in research centres with a solid research tradition on SEs and by associating early-stage and peripheral country researchers with recognized scholars via collaborative research activities.


Coordinating Institution: EMES - Research Network for Social Entreprise

Chair: Marthe Nyssens
Vice-chair: Silvia Ferreira

social enterprise, social economy, third sector, social and societal challenges
Funding Entity
European Cooperation in Science and Technology