Europe in Transition: The Role of Social Cooperatives and Social Enterprises

17 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2014

See all articles by Carlo Borzaga

Carlo Borzaga

University of Trento; European Research Institute on Cooperative & Social Enterprises (EURICSE)

Riccardo Bodini

European Research Institute on Cooperative & Social Enterprises (EURICSE)

Chiara Carini

European Research Institute on Cooperative & Social Enterprises (EURICSE)

Sara Depedri

European Research Institute on Cooperative & Social Enterprises (EURICSE); University of Trento

Giulia Galera

European Research Institute on Cooperative & Social Enterprises (EURICSE)

Gianluca Salvatori

European Research Institute on Cooperative & Social Enterprises (EURICSE)

Date Written: June 13, 2014

Abstract

The European social model has always been characterized by the active role played in the production of goods and services by a variety of organizations that differ both from private corporations and public institutions. These are private organizations that, while active on the market, typically pursue goals other than profit: their main purpose is not to generate financial gains for their owners or stakeholders but to provide goods and services either to their members or to the community at large. Traditionally, these organizations have been included in the concept of “social economy”. This paper describes the role of social enterprises and social cooperatives as a type of economic, non-profit organization that is assuming an increasingly central role in Europe (as shown for example by the Social Business Initiative, recently launched by the European Commission), by contributing to its economic and social growth. More generally, the paper intends to reflect on the economic and social impacts of social enterprises and social cooperatives in local economies, while some final remarks conclude by identifying some lessons supplied by Italian social cooperatives on a broader scale.

Keywords: Social economy, cooperatives, social enterprises, social impact, EU policies.

JEL Classification: L38, L26, N34, P13.

Suggested Citation

Borzaga, Carlo and Bodini, Riccardo and Carini, Chiara and Depedri, Sara and Galera, Giulia and Salvatori, Gianluca, Europe in Transition: The Role of Social Cooperatives and Social Enterprises (June 13, 2014). Euricse Working Papers No. 69|14. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2436456 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2436456

Carlo Borzaga

University of Trento ( email )

Via Giuseppe Verdi 26
Trento, Trento 38152
Italy

European Research Institute on Cooperative & Social Enterprises (EURICSE) ( email )

Via S. Giovanni 36
38122 Trento (TN)
Italy

Riccardo Bodini (Contact Author)

European Research Institute on Cooperative & Social Enterprises (EURICSE) ( email )

Via S. Giovanni 36
38122 Trento (TN)
Italy

Chiara Carini

European Research Institute on Cooperative & Social Enterprises (EURICSE) ( email )

Via S. Giovanni 36
38122 Trento (TN)
Italy

Sara Depedri

European Research Institute on Cooperative & Social Enterprises (EURICSE) ( email )

Via S. Giovanni 36
38122 Trento (TN)
Italy

University of Trento

Via Giuseppe Verdi 26
Trento, Trento 38152
Italy

Giulia Galera

European Research Institute on Cooperative & Social Enterprises (EURICSE) ( email )

Via S. Giovanni 36
38122 Trento (TN)
Italy

Gianluca Salvatori

European Research Institute on Cooperative & Social Enterprises (EURICSE) ( email )

Via S. Giovanni 36
38122 Trento (TN)
Italy

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