Development of social enterprise concept

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Development of social enterprise concept

See also: Social enterprise mark in Finland

On 18 Feb 2011, Finland's Ministry for Employment and the Economy (TEM) published a report looking at extending the concept of social enterprise to cover service delivery, not only work integration. Here is the abstract in English.


A working group appointed by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy on 21 June 2010 has assessed the social enterprise business model. This has been done with respect to the model’s suitability for reinforcing, and diversifying the forms of entrepreneurship; renewing public service delivery; and organising non-governmental organisations’ payable service functions and integration into the labour market. The working group completed its work by the deadline of 31 January 2011.

Business model assessment was based on reports prepared on the concept under a project funded by the European Social Fund, implemented under the guidance of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, and within the Ministry’s strategic welfare project HYVÄ. The report’s starting points lay in the strategy, definition and experiences related to a social enterprise business model in the UK, in particular.

The working group concluded that aspiring entrepreneurs, enterprises already operating and non-governmental organisations would be interested in the social enterprise business model. On this basis, the working group proposes that development efforts for such a model be launched. Furthermore, a continuing project should be established for this work during the parliamentary term following the general election in the spring of 2011. The working group viewed the specification of the business model as important, in differentiating it from corporate social responsibility or charity in general. In the view of the working group, further specification and brand work should begin immediately.

To satisfy the need and increasing demand for public services, social and health care services in particular, new solutions and delivery models are required. The working group believed that these would enhance productivity and effectiveness. In this respect, a social enterprise can provide a solution that enriches patterns of delivery. In the service markets, however, social enterprises operate on terms and preconditions equal to those of other enterprises. According to the working group’s proposals, no new or separate direct subsidies or tax reliefs should be created for social enterprises.

The working group finds that procurement procedures have a key impact on the development of markets. It proposes the development of procurement criteria in pursuit of qualitatively functioning markets, better services and positive impacts on the population and regional economy.

Source: Report by TEM (Ministry of Employment and the Economy), Finland, 18 Feb 2011:

Download report (in Finnish): [1]