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The Changing Boundaries of Social Enterprises

image of The Changing Boundaries of Social Enterprises

Social enterprises are entering a new phase of consolidation after overcoming various challenges over the last 10 years in their efforts to foster sustainable local development, help create local wealth and jobs, and fight social exclusion. This book contains recommendations for national and local policy makers and presents a set of international best practices based on new legislation that has been enacted, novel frontiers that have opened up, and support and financial tools that have been developed.

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Social Enterprises and Local Economic Development

Following many years of development in various forms, a comprehensive and coherent legal framework for social enterprises has recently been introduced as a new legal category in the United Kingdom and in Italy. Their nature, which has been characterised in law by the presence of an explicit social aim, a multi-stakeholder nature of governance, a non-profit constraint and an asset lock, has been partly analysed, though much work is still needed in order to correctly define the economic role of this new typology of firm. Still to be explored in particular is the role of social enterprises in local economic development. This chapter maintains that the basic economic features listed above are all conducive to a vocational role in the processes of endogenously driven local development, since at least the asset lock and the system of multistakeholder governance are best suited to sustain local integration and a bottom-up approach to development.

English

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