The Swedish National Reform Programme for Growth and Jobs 2008-2010 makes special mention of social firms, and cites the case of of Vägen ut! in Göteborg in particular. The reference follows (from pages 67-68):
One of the Government's most important tasks is to end the exclusion that characterises many people's lives. Social firms as a form of company in Sweden and other European countries have proved to be capable of creating jobs for people most detached from the labour market. In social firms, job opportunities are created that make use of the individuals’ capabilities and possibilities for rehabilitation as a step towards work in the regular labour market. Social firms can thus help end exclusion.
In November 2007 the Government gave the Swedish Business Development Agency (NUTEK) a remit to draw up a cross-sectoral programme with proposals for measures to provide a stimulus for more social firms to start and grow. A programme proposal was submitted to the Government in May 2008. Its aim is to stimulate organisations as well as individuals to risk starting social firms. The proposal is currently being studied by the Government Offices.
Vägen ut! – an example of a social company in Sweden. The Vägen ut! cooperative was started in August 2002 as a partnership in the EU programme EQUAL. The first cooperatives took three years to establish: Villa Solberg – a halfway house for men, Karin’s Daughters – job training for women, Café Solberg – a café and catering business with job training. In 2008 the Vägen ut! cooperatives employ over 30 people and there are some 30 more in job training and in residence. Vägen Ut! takes an active part in spreading business ideas in Sweden and Europe through social franchising and hotel chains and halfway houses are in the process of being built. In 2007 the Vägen Ut! cooperative had a turnover of SEK 9.4 million.
Source: ”Programme proposals for more and growing social firms” (”Programförslag för fler och växande sociala företag”), Nutek.
Swedish NRP: http://www.regeringen.se/sb/d/2031/a/113659