Designing Legal Frameworks for Social Enterprises

Practical Guidance for Policy Makers

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Increasingly, countries are recognising the contribution social enterprises make to economic and inclusive growth and sustainable development. While some form of legislation on social enterprises exists in 16 EU countries, and explicit policies or strategies to boost their development exist in the other 11 EU countries, policy makers recognise that legislation can help address current shortcomings and facilitate future social enterprise development. Based on consultations with more than 80 experts, policy makers and stakeholders from 10 European countries, this manual explains the rationale behind legal frameworks for social enterprises, identifies the critical factors for legal framework design and recommends actions to ensure legislation fully meets the needs of social enterprises. It lays out the fundamental steps related to the life cycle of legal frameworks and provides options that policy makers can use in the design and implementation process.



This manual is produced as part of the framework of the OECD Action” Designing legal frameworks for social enterprises”,https://www.oecd.org/cfe/leed/social-economy/legal-frameworks.htm. funded by the European Union. Capitalising on the increased awareness of the potential of social enterprises to further local economic development and social inclusion, the Action analyses and explores challenges and opportunities to support social enterprise development through specific legal frameworks. This Manual provides guidance In complement to this Manual, the Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool, developed in collaboration with the European Commission, has been designed for policy makers and other interested parties at local, regional and national level who wish to explore how public policy can support the development of social enterprises in European countries and beyond. A section of the tool is dedicated to the design of enabling legal and regulatory frameworks: https://betterentrepreneurship.eu/en/node/52. to help policy makers achieve the following goals: (1) assess the rationale and relevance for developing new or updating legal frameworks specific to social enterprises; (2) analyse critical factors when designing legal frameworks for social enterprises; and (3) explore options and tools to ensure stakeholder involvement in the elaboration of legal frameworks for social enterprises as well as their assessment and evaluation.


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