EFESEIIS endeavors to produce new knowledge and provide it to every individual, authority or organisation that are involved or are willing to involve themselves in the social and solidarity-based economy. It aims at providing a better understanding of Social Entrepreneurship using thorough analysis of data gathered in 10 European countries. By 2016, EFESEIIS aspires to give all the key information to a wide range of stakeholders – from policy makers, financial organisations, and local authorities to individuals – to remove the barriers preventing from the growth of Social Entrepreneurship and support its development worldwide.


To produce new knowledge enabling the European people to fully understand the conditions under which social entrepreneurship starts, develops and can contribute effectively and efficiently to solving societal challenges in a sustainable way


First Objective: To construct an Evolutionary Theory of Social Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship has developed in different ways across Europe. This project aims 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.

This output will be most useful to:

  •  Policy makers that want to develop Social Entrepreneurship in their country
  • Academics who wish to further analyze Social Entrepreneurship for possible implementation in their country

Second Objective: To identify the features of an “Enabling Eco-System for Social Entrepreneurship”

The EFESEIIS project aims to identify the features of an “Enabling Eco-System for Social Entrepreneurship”.

The research will identify the the macro-meso and micro conditions under which Social Enterprises can contribute effectively and efficiently to build an inclusive and innovative society and will lead to a database of good practices. 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.

This output will be most useful to:

  •  Organizations that support Social Entrepreneurship. This product could provide insight on relevant services they should focus on, thus giving them possibility to be more effective and efficient
  • Foundations and financial institutions who can design grants or financial services in order to facilitate Social Enterprises as well as delivering products which answer costumer’s needs
  • Policy makers interested in creating an enabling eco-system to support Social Entrepreneurship at the local level
  • Social Entrepreneurs which can gain useful data to design products and services that answer to the needs of other Social Entrepreneurs

Third Objective: To identify the “New Generation” of Social Entrepreneurs

The new generation of social enterprises has emerged in the last five years. The project will assess its features, needs, constraints as well as its contribution to Social Innovation.

In the last three years or so, 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. This situation is affecting the New Generation of Social Entrepreneurs. This New Generation requires a greater understanding in terms of its features, the needs and constraints as well as its contribution to Social Innovation. This will allow social entrepreneurs the ability to greater success in the policy-making arena as well as increased benefits with regards to stakeholders, financial institutions and other support organizations.

This output will be most useful to:

  • Organizations that support Social Entrepreneurship and that will find useful data on the needs of this new generation of Social Entrepreneurs. This could lead to the design of targeted new products and services as well as new activities to foster entrepreneurship at the local level
  • Foundations and financial institutions that can use data provided by the project for designing grants or financial services specifically aimed to the new generation of Social Entrepreneurs
  • Social Entrepreneurs that can understand how new entrepreneurs from different countries behave, solve problems and identify their needs. Providing the answer to the needs of this new generation could be a future market for existing social entrepreneurs

 Fourth Objective:  To provide advice to stakeholders

During the entire duration of the project, data from interviews, focus groups and questionnaires will be gathered with the aim of providing targeted advices to stakeholders. 

The project targets 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. Every stakeholder will be 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.

These advices will be specifically targeted to: 

  • Policy makers at the European, national and local level
  • Organizations that support social entrepreneurship
  • Foundations and Financial Institutions