EFESEIIS Germany National Report on social entrepreneurship

EFESEIIS Germany National Report on social entrepreneurship


The report, aiming at assessing the main features of emerging social entrepreneurs (SEs) in Germany, provides a better understanding of the enabling eco-system for social entrepreneurship, introducing the development of SEs in the German context and discussing the contextual factors for SE’s.

A special attention has been paid to the role of welfare state, policy support, financial sector and education realm in supporting and shaping the German eco-system for social entrepreneurship.

Thus, although Germany lacks an unanimous definition of social entrepreneurs, the awareness on the importance played by these new actors seems to be increasing:

Social entrepreneurs received direct and indirect support from the German national government throughout history (…) In 2012 the German federal government defined social entrepreneurs as actors founding social organizations out of their individual citizen engagement to address social challenges with innovative and entrepreneurial approaches (…) Indirect government support for social entrepreneur’s development was regularly provided, so for instance in the area of the integration of disabled people into the labor market (…) Only comparatively late did the German national government initiate direct support for the development of social entrepreneurs”

Based on a survey of existing literature on Social Entrepreneurship, the gained information were amended and tested through 16 expert interviews with divers’ stakeholders and SE’s operating under different legal forms and differing regarding their founding dates.


Social Enterprise, Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship in Germany: A National Report
Prof. Dr. Annette Zimmer & Stephanie Bräuer
Westfälische Wilhelms University, Germany