Social entrepreneurship
Self-assessment

Create Social assessment

Culture
• Civil society and social economy organisations are not active.• There is lack of support to citizen-led initiatives for the creation of social economy organisations. • Civil society is active.• Social economy organisations are active.• Support is provided to citizen-led initiatives for the creation of social economy organisations. We invite to assess the presence of civil society organisations and social economy organisations in your territory and the level of support that is being provided to citizen-led initiatives. A territory with a thriving civil society and social economy is more prone to foster social entrepreneurship. read more
• There are no particular efforts for raising the profile of social entrepreneurs and spark the interest for social enterprises. • Social entrepreneurs are showcased as role models.• Contests for social entrepreneurs are organised.• Social enterprises are promoted through various communication channels (e.g. online, press, radio, and local community media). We invite you to consider the breadth of activities that are being undertaken in your territory in order to raise awareness and promote social entrepreneurship, such as contests or promotion campaigns for social entrepreneurs and social enterprises through various channels of communication. read more
• There are no or limited efforts to promote social entrepreneurship through education. • Social entrepreneurship is promoted through formal education (i.e. from primary, secondary, tertiary education) and non-formal learning. • Higher education institutions have programmes on social entrepreneurship. We invite you to assess the degree to which education contributes to the development of positive attitudes towards social entrepreneurship in your territory. You can examine whether there are courses or activities that introduce the notion of social entrepreneurship throughout the education system and informal learning and how a social enterprise works and contributes both to the society and to the economy. Finally, you can consider whether teachers receive the necessary training to support these activities. read more
• There is no specific effort from universities and/or the academia to promote social entrepreneurship.• There is limited research regarding social entrepreneurship. • Universities or other research institutions promote social entrepreneurship, including in the public debate.• There is ongoing research regarding social entrepreneurship. • Researchers are connected to European/international networks. We invite you consider what is the role of universities and the academia in promoting social entrepreneurship by participating in the public debate. We also ask you to examine how active are researchers in their efforts to develop the evidence base in the field of social entrepreneurship and in sharing their knowledge through European and international networks read more
• There is no regular collection of statistical data carried out by public authorities or other organisations. • Public authorities regularly collect statistical data.• Other organisations collect/use and analyse data. We invite you to examine whether actions have been undertaken either by the public sector or other entities in your territory to build the evidence base and gather statistical information regarding social enterprises. read more
Institutions
• There is no statutory body for social enterprises.• The chamber of commerce or similar bodies do not engage with social enterprises.• There is no formal recognition system for social enterprises. • There is a statutory body for social enterprises.• The chamber of commerce or similar bodies engage with social enterprises.• There is a registry or another mechanism through which social enterprises get formally recognised. We invite you to consider the level of support and engagement of institutional bodies that is provided to social enterprises. Is there a statutory body in your territory which can act as a reference point for information regarding social enterprises or monitor and oversee any activities related to them? Do other bodies, such as the chamber of commerce, engage with social enterprises and enhance their interaction with the business community? Finally, we ask you to examine whether there are registries or similar mechanisms that offer recognition to social enterprises and illustrate how they contribute in the economy and the society through their activities in your territory. read more
• There is a lack of coordination and communication among government agencies and across government levels. • Coordination among government agencies works well.• Coordination across government levels works well. We invite you to assess the degree to which your institutional framework for supporting social enterprises is coherent. You can examine how well do government agencies co-ordinate their actions among them and across different government levels. read more
• There is no or limited involvement of relevant stakeholders during the policy development process. • Policies are developed through an inclusive consultation process.• Relevant stakeholders are involved in the policy development process at an early stage. • There is a balanced representation of stakeholders participating in the policy development process. We invite you to examine the degree to which the policy development process for supporting social enterprises is inclusive. To what extend are relevant stakeholders being consulted and, if so, at what stage of the process? Is it early enough in order to have the opportunity to influence the policy design? We also ask you to reflect whether the representation of stakeholders is balanced enough in order to avoid capture of the exercise by some stakeholders’ views. read more
• There is no formal acknowledgement of social enterprises in strategic documents of the government.• There is a strategy but it lacks political support and/or policy objectives are not clearly stated. • There is a formally endorsed written strategy, which is coherent with the broader policy context.• The strategy enjoys political support and commitment.The strategy includes specific objectives. We invite you to consider whether there is a strategy for social enterprise development either as a standalone document or as part of another policy initiative. Is this strategy coherent with the broader policy environment? Does it enjoy enough political support and commitment in order to be implemented and sustained through time? Finally, does the strategy identify the main challenges of the socio-economic context and illustrate how social enterprises can tackle them through their activities by setting clear and specific objectives? read more
• It is not clear who oversees the implementation of the strategy.• There are insufficient financial resources mobilised for the implementation of the strategy. • It is clearly identified who is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the strategy.• Sufficient financial resources have been mobilised for the implementation of the strategy.• The strategy includes an action plan to attain its objectives.• Progress against the objectives of the strategy is monitored and measured. We invite you to consider the degree to which the strategy is well-planned in order to be effectively implemented. Does the strategy include an action plan defining the actions that need to be taken in order to meet its objectives and assigning responsibilities to the relevant actors? Are there financial resources dedicated to the implementation of the strategy? Lastly, we invite you to examine whether there is a monitoring and evaluation mechanism that can measure the progress made against the objectives of the strategy read more
Regulations
• There is no or unclear legal recognition of social enterprises.• The lack of appropriate legal forms constrains social enterprises’ operation. • The legislation effectively recognises, differentiates, and supports social enterprises.• There is (are) specific legal form(s) for to social enterprises, or social enterprises can operate through a wide variety of legal forms. We invite you to consider the extent to which social enterprises are recognised in the legislation. Is it possible to adapt existing legal forms in a way that is dedicated to social enterprises? Alternatively, have dedicated social enterprise legal statuses been developed in order to identify and support social enterprises using different legal forms? read more
• There is no clear identification of the features of social enterprises.• The legislation fails to recognise the wide range of activities that social enterprises can pursue.• Relevant stakeholders do not have the opportunity to be involved in the preparation of the legislation. • The legislation provides a definition and presents the key features of social enterprises.• The legislation sets out the activities that social enterprises can pursue.• The content of the legislation was developed through an inclusive consultation process. We invite you to examine the content of the legislation on social enterprises and the process through which it has been developed. Has the legislation been developed through a consultation process, which was designed to ensure that the views and interests of different stakeholders are taken into serious consideration? Does the legislation clearly identify the key features of social enterprises? Finally, does it explain the activities that social enterprises can pursue without impeding their development and growth? read more
• Information on administrative procedures is scarce and hard to find.• Information on administrative procedures is hard to understand. • Information for establishing a social enterprise is easy to access.• Information on administrative procedures is easy to understand. We invite you to assess how easy it is to establish a social enterprise. Is the information regarding the procedures and the paperwork for establishing a social enterprise clearly signposted and easy to understand by the prospective social entrepreneurs? read more
Finance
• There is a lack of Information regarding the financing needs of social enterprises and potential funders. • The financing needs of social enterprises have been assessed.• The main actors providing funds to social enterprises have been identified.• The main types of financial intermediaries have been identified. We invite you to examine whether the financial market has been mapped in your territory in order to inform policy actions. Who are the main actors that provide finance to social enterprises? Are there any intermediaries that help to match the needs of social enterprises with the available financial resources? read more
• There is a limited range of types of financing for social enterprises.• The available types of financing do not cover the needs of social enterprises in different stages of development. • Grants and other subsidies are available.• Debt financing is available.• Quasi-equity or mezzanine finance is available.• Equity financing is available.• Hybrid finance instruments that combine grants, debt, quasi-equity and equity are available.

For explanations of financial terms, see the glossary
We invite you to consider whether the available financial resources in your territory correspond to the diversity of the organisational structures of social enterprises and their stage of development. Is there a wide array of financial resources that can meet the needs of social enterprises? Are there hybrid instruments that combine different features of financial instruments available to social enteprises? read more
• There is a lack of specialised services providers that help social enterprises to develop the capacity to find, attract, and communicate with funders.• Capacity-building support by specialised services providers is not affordable for social enterprises. • Specialised services providers help social enterprises to develop the capacity to find, attract, and communicate with funders.• These services are affordable.• If services provided are expensive, financial support is available to social enterprises for accessing them. We invite you to consider whether there are specialised service providers in your territory that help social enterprises to enhance their skills to find, attract and communicate with funders. If there are, are the services provided affordable for social enterprises? Is there any financial support that can help social enterprises access these services? read more
• There is a lack of specialised private funders who invest in social enterprises. • Specialised private funders are actively targeting social enterprises as an investment opportunity.• Public funding is used to incentivise specialised funders to actively finance social enterprises. We invite you to examine the extent to which there are specialised private funders for social enterprises in your territory. Do these providers treat social enterprises as investment opportunities? Does this reflect the level of maturity of your ecosystem? Are there any policy actions, such as provision of funds, which contribute to the development and growth of these specialised private funders? read more
• There are no or limited efforts for raising awareness about social enterprises as an investment opportunity.• There is no or limited guidance for funders on how to finance social enterprises (including through EU instruments). • Good practices of social enterprise financing are collected from the mainstream funding community.• Awards and other types of dissemination activities about good practices in social enterprise financing are conducted.• Trainings and guidance are available to financial institutions to build capacity on how to finance social enterprises.• Guidance to finance providers on how to access EU instruments supporting social enterprise is available. We invite you to consider the degree to which public support is provided in order to raise awareness about social enterprises among mainstream funders. Often mainstream funders have limited understanding about social enterprises and their potential as investment opportunities or they lack the skills to undertake this type of investments. Are there initiatives in your territory that help mainstream funders better understand and learn how to fund social enterprises? read more
• If available, public grants targeting social enterprises are scarce.• There are no or limited publicly supported financing schemes that combine multiple financial instruments.• There are no guarantee schemes for intermediaries. • Social enterprises can benefit from public grants supporting specific projects.• Publicly supported financing schemes that combine grants, loans, guarantees and other financial instruments are in place.• Intermediaries can benefit from public guarantee schemes to provide funding to social enterprises. We invite you to consider the extent to which public funds are used to support social enterprise development. Do social enterprises receive public financial support? To what degree public funds are channelled for the creation of intermediaries or financial actors, such as seed funds or social impact investment funds, which can respond to the needs of social enterprises? Are guarantee schemes being used in your territory? read more
Markets
• Social enterprises rarely use new technologies for accessing markets. • There are social enterprises that offer their products/services by using new technologies, such as online market places or tools which help matching supply and demand.• There are social enterprises that use new technologies to develop new products/ services in order to diversify their activities and penetrate new markets.• There are social enterprises that use new technologies to offer their products/ services internationally. Technology opens new avenues and offers opportunities for social enterprises to access both public and private markets. For instance, online platforms represent a new marketplace among social enterprises, the public sector, and firms. Technology can also be part of the way social enterprises produce and offer their goods and services and allows them to offer them beyond their local geographic area and penetrate new markets. read more
• Social and/or environmental considerations are not reflected in the public procurement rules enforced.• Public procurement rules allow social and/or environmental considerations, but they are not commonly used. • Public procurement is used to achieve social and/or environmental objectives.• National legislation enables the use of social and/or environmental considerations, as in line with the Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement.• Public authorities use social clauses in their procurement. • Public authorities use reserved contracts in their procurement. Public authorities and social enterprises share the common purpose of delivering goods and services for the general interest. Naturally, public markets offer opportunities to social enterprises to become financially sustainable while fulfilling their social and/or environmental mission. Similarly, public authorities can use strategically public procurement- a powerful tool for accessing the public marketsin order to pursue the attainment of economic, social, and environmental goals.read more
• There is no or limited guidance on public procurement to civil servants.• There is lack of interaction between public authorities, the social enterprise community, and procurement experts. • Capacity-building and dedicated training is provided to enhance the skills of civil servants on public procurement.• Technical guidance are available at all government levels.• There is a platform for dialogue between public authorities, the social enterprise community, and procurement experts. Budget officers and administrators often view procurement from a “lowest price only” perspective and may not have a clear understanding of what is a social enterprise. The provision of technical support and training together with purchasing guidance material could encourage and facilitate government departments and agencies to include social and/or environmental considerations in their procurement.read more
• There is lack of training and support programmes to help social enterprises to participate in calls for tender.• If available, the guidance documents for social enterprises are hard to understand. • Dedicated training and support programmes are available to help social enterprises participate in calls for tender.• Formal technical guidance documents are available and easy to understand. Social enterprises, similarly to SMEs, often struggle to respond to calls for tender due to factors relating to capacity constraints, lack of skills for navigating administrative procedures, lack of visibility, or simply information deficits regarding market opportunities. Dividing contracts in smaller lots, developing accessible and easy to understand guides, and share openly and frequently information about market opportunities, can help social enterprises to respond to calls for tender.read more
• There is a lack of commercial partnerships between social enterprises and other firms.• Social enterprises do not participate in networks and activities of the larger business community. • Social enterprises establish commercial partnerships with other firms.• Social enterprises bid for contracts with other firms.• Social enterprises participate in networks and activities of the larger business community.• Social enterprises produce services/goods for individuals. Access to private markets is crucial for social enterprises as it can open a wider customer-base to them comprised both of firms and individuals. Firms can create market opportunities for social enterprises by integrating them in their business activities. Also, consumers can use their purchasing power to support social enterprises and their mission by buying directly from them.read more
• There is a lack of initiatives for encouraging other firms to involve social enterprises in their supply chain.• There is a lack of initiatives encouraging consumers to buy products or services produced by social enterprises. • Campaigns encourage other firms to involve social enterprises in their supply chain.• Campaigns encourage consumers to buy goods and/or services produced by social enterprises.• There are recognition/certification schemes to help identify social enterprises.• Firms collaborate with social enterprises within their CSR framework. Demonstrating the added value of social enterprises can build a better understanding of the potential role that they can play in solving social, environmental, and economic issues. The development of recognition schemes, such as marks and labels, can help identify social enterprises and build the confidence of buyers. Another option could be the creation of directories that can help identify social enterprises as potential suppliers. Finally, dedicated campaigns that raise awareness can stimulate the demand for the goods and services produced by social enterprises both by firms and individuals read more
Skills
• There is a lack of dedicated training.• Available training initiatives do not address the specific needs of social enterprises.• Available training initiatives focus only on one stage of development of social enterprises. • Dedicated training is available for key issues, such as business skills, social impact measurement, management and social skills.• The training is tailored to the stage of development and maturity of the social enterprises. We invite you to consider whether in your territory there are training initiatives that contribute to the enhancement of the skills (both business-related and social-related) that are necessary for developing a social enterprise. We also also ask you to examine whether the available training corresponds to the different development stages of a social enterprise from start-up to scale-up. read more
• There is lack of coaching and mentoring.• When they exist, coaching and mentoring are too expensive.• The coaches and/or mentors have not received training that allows them to understand the specificities of social enterprises. • Coaching and mentoring programmes are affordable.• Coaches and mentors receive training in providing support to social entrepreneurs.• There is a matching mechanism to ensure that there is a “good fit” between the social entrepreneur and their coach and/or mentor. We invite you to assess the affordability of tailored coaching and mentoring programmes, which can be online or off-line, short-term or long-term, and provided in groups or one-to one. In addition, we ask you to examine whether there is a mechanism in place that can ensure a “good fit” between coaches and mentors, who can be experienced social enterprise leaders, professionals from the commercial sector or subject-matter experts, and social entrepreneurs. read more
• There is a lack of incubators and hubs.• Where they exist, dedicated incubators and hubs are not well known. • General business development support structures also provide integrated support to social enterprises.• Dedicated incubators and hubs are available to help social enterprises to be established and grow.• Dedicated incubators and hubs are promoted through various channels. • The scale of support meets the demand of social enterprises. We invite you to assess the degree to which there is appropriate business development support to social enterprises in your territory. Development support structures dedicated to social enterprises or to traditional SMEs can provide co-working space, training, coaching, consulting, networking, and funding. In addition, you can examine whether the existence of dedicated incubators or hubs is promoted in your territory and whether the degree of the provided support is sufficient to cover the needs of social enterprises. read more
• There is lack of support for the development of networks.• Existing networks are of limited scale.• There are no or a limited number of activities relevant for social enterprises in existing networks. • There are initiatives that support the creation and development of networks.• Networks help social enterprises to connect with peers and develop transnationally, including through online platforms and face to face events. • Networks stimulate knowledge sharing. We ask you to consider the degree to which networks contribute to the development and growth of social enterprises. Are there any initiatives in your territory that support the creation of networks to start with? If yes, we ask you to assess the degree to which these neworks are dynamic and provide the platform to social enterprises to meet in person or online with their peers. Lastly, you can examine whether these networks spur knowledge sharing and connect social enterprises within and outside your terriroty and your country. read more
Impact
• There is a lack of efforts to share knowledge that help social enterprises to measure and/or report their impact.• If available, support is expensive. • An open-access online repository of methods for measuring and/or reporting impact is available in the native language.• Affordable support is available. We invite you to consider the various means available to social enterprises and their stakeholders to acquire information about impact measurement and reporting, and to act on such information [means-oriented dimension]. Have there been efforts to collate relevant information on available measurement and reporting techniques online or off-line? Which additional measuresare currently underway to effectively unlock such information, to help social enterprises act on this information? read more
• When they exist, social impact measurement standards have been adopted without involvement of social enterprises.• There is no platform for dialogue among relevant stakeholders. • Social enterprises and their coordinating bodies are closely involved in defining impact measurement and reporting techniques.• There is a platform for dialogue among all stakeholders. We invite you you to consider the impact measurement and reporting techniques today widely used in your constituency, and ask yourself how they were developed [process-foused dimension]. Were they developed in a co-creative manner? That is to say, are they the outcome of workshops or a thorough and open debate that joined together many divers stakeholders? Or instead were they copied from existing blueprints without contextualization? Or put together by a limited group of stakeholders – be it top-down fellow public sector reprsentatitives or academics – or more bottom-up by social entrepreneurs themselves. read more
• There is a lack of communication and awareness raising initiatives on the benefits of measuring and/or reporting impact. The few efforts that have been made were unsuccessful. • Campaigns illustrating the benefits from measuring and/or reporting impact also consider the challenges and the capacity of social enterprises.• Stakeholders who design impact measurement and/or reporting requirements are aware of the specificities of social enterprises. • Social enterprises are aware of the availability of resources and approaches to measure and/or report impact. We invite you to reflect on the level of awareness about the value of impact measurement and reporting and about available approaches in your constituency [outcome-oriented dimension]. To help you assess this dimension: ask yourself whether there have been any initiatives and/or whether there are initiatives currently underway in your constituency, designed to help raise awareness about impact measurement and reporting among social enterprises and their stakeholders. read more
• Policy-makers are not using impact measurement and/or reporting to improve the quality of their decisions.• Evidence produced by impact measurement is not used in public debates. • The public sector systematically evaluate the impact of its key policy interventions.• Evidence produced by impact measurement is used in public debates.• Research on impact measurement is promoted. We invite you to consider to what extent impact measurement and reporting features in the public debate and feeds into policy-making. Has your organisation undertaken or are specific initiatives underway in your constituency to use the evidence on impact measurement to inform a critical discussion of the added-value of social enterprises? read more

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