The European research project to develop social entrepreneurship and social enterprises

Title Enabling the Flourishing and Evolution of Social Entrepreneurship for Innovative and Inclusive Society – EFESEIIS

Place Europe

Duration December 2013- December 2016

Partnership and framework The EFESSEIS project and its partnership of 11 research institutions, received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no.613179.



Social Enterprises are considered as being able to satisfy the growing need for social services in a context of decreasing public spending while creating employment opportunities. As a consequence, Social Enterprises have received a great del of attention in Europe in recent years with many countries interested in finding out the best methods to promote their establishment and success.

General Objective

The final goal of the project was to enable European people and organizations to fully understand the conditions under which social enterprises start, flourish and can contribute to solve societal challenges in a sustainable way.

During the research activity the partnership involved a wide range of stakeholders – policy makers, financial organisations, enterprises, local authorities, individuals –  and analysed a great amount of data collected in 10 European countries.


Our contribution

ARCO was the project leader, in charge of coordinating all the activities foreseen by the project.

ARCO was directly in charge of the “Survey and Interviews to Social Entrepreneurs” activity. With regard to this task, ARCO performed the following:

  • Designing of a survey involving 1100 social enterprises
  • Organising and conducting a laboratory experiment at the University of Florence involving 74 among for profit and social entrepreneurs
  • Data collection and analysis

ARCO was also in charge of the research activity for the definition of “Enabling Eco-System”. Concerning this part ARCO performed the following:

  • Review and analysis of the literature
  • Creation of an analytical framework to explore the relation between Social Enterprises and the ecosystem based on the capability approach of Amartya Sen
  • Creation of a matrix and definition of 4 main ecosystems
  • Policy recommendations

For more info:

Read more on our Social Economy Unit