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SEFORÏS is a multi-disciplinary research programme that investigates the potential of social enterprises to enhance the inclusiveness of societies. Today SEFORÏS proudly announces its first newsletter! 

Preview Research Insights: How Social Entrepreneurship differs in 7 EU countries, China and Russia

Before diving into the extensive qualitative and quantitative research ahead – notably the 25 case studies and 1000 surveys- we tried to effectively take stock of the state of social entrepreneurship in the 9 participating SEFORÏS countries. Our aim was to collect useful facts, figures and trends about social entrepreneurship in each of these countries and this in relation to our 5 core topics of study: context, organization, impact, financing and innovation. In addition, we sought to feel the temperature of the public debates, public opinion and alive myths. You can readily download the full reports online – structured either by country or by topic. Read here three highlighted points per country, things that we felt were intriguing, warranting further scrutiny. 

Social Enterpreneur in the spotlight: Be Better

Be Better is an educational services platform whose mission is to popularize youth financial civic education in China. Despite having only been founded in 2009, 5 years later they already conduct activities in around 16 cities throughout China, have trained a network of over 2000 volunteer teachers, and developed a curriculum and activities that reach over 70,000 beneficiaries a year. Be Better believes that change radiates outwards. This can range from other teachers adopting methods from a coworker who attended a Be Better training, to other schools adopting the curriculum after seeing it used by a model school. Read more on this fascinating platform.


Navigating institutional plurality: Organizational governance in hybrid organizations is a study by Mair J., Mayer J and Lutz E. This study refines current debates on social enterprises as hybrid organisations. Read more on the symbolic or substantive reasons to assume hybridity as a social enterprise and the governance structure and practice in social enterprises. 

Did you know that the gender gap is smaller in social enterprises than in their traditional counterparts? And women-led ventures create more new markets in social businesses? Learn more on the results and policy recommendations of Marieke Huysentruyt in Women's Social Entrepreneurship and innovation. 

"At a time when questions about reforming our economic system remain acute, social enterprises invite optimism as well as caution." This is the opening line of the conclusion of the paper of Ebrahim A, Battilana J and Mair J, The governance of social enterprises: Mission drift and accountability, challenges in hybrid organizations. The market for social impact investment is likely to grow, but challenges to find organisational processes that do not compromise the mission of Social Enterprises remain vital.

The research of Stephan U, Uhlaner LM and Stride CB, proves the importance of social entrepreneurship support by the local culture and government for the performance and encouragement of social enterprises. The authors analysed 26 countries, with Denmark scoring the best on all measures. Learn and read more: Institutions and Social Entrepreneurship: The Role of Institutional Voids, Institutional Support and Institutional Configurations. 

Conferences, seminars and talks

The SEFORÏS team has been present at different inspiring events and conferences on social entrepreneurship. They gave workshops and presentations on Have Your Say in Strassbourg; Oikos International Summer School on Social Entrepreneurship at Tbilisi State University; Kauffman Academic conference in Missouri; and many more. For a complete overview and more details, click here
Academic partners and research institutions
Social entrepreneur support and financing organisations
SEFORIS is a flagship multi-disciplinary, multi-method international research project on social enterprises funded by the European Commission. For more information, visit our website  
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