In the coming six months, SEFORÏS will survey 1000 social enterprises across Europe, Russia and China. The survey will provide us with a bottom-up view that should help us better understand the role of social enterprise in leading to a more inclusive, innovative society. We recently concluded an intensive training of the international team of 'surveyors' in Brussels and are excited to announce the imminent start of the survey.
Critical to the success of the upcoming survey is integrating the issue of context - how formal and informal institutions, social capital environment and resources affect social enterprise performance and vice versa. In conjunction with the analysis of governance, impact, financing and innovation, this should allow us to develop thoughtful insights for new policy geared toward social entrepreneurs and social innovation.
SEFORÏS has recently concluded an unusually high load of interviews all relating to 27 social enterprises in 9 countries. The aim is to enrich our understanding of social enterprises through the in-depth study of especially chosen social enterprises. No less than 236 interviews were conducted. The cases gather information about governance, finance, innovation, impact and context, the 5 core research areas of SEFORÏS. The formal analysis is still in preparation but some preliminary conclusions can already be highlighted. SEFORÏS researcher Georgiana Nitulescu, who coordinated the case studies, jotted down some first insights. You can read them here.
We seek to help policy makers on different levels move forward more quickly and efficiently towards realizing social goals through the promotion of social enterprise. To do this however, there must be an understanding of the actual potential of social enterprises. Therefore, our research is organized around three objectives:
- Enhancing our understanding of the role of social enterprise in leading us to a more inclusive, innovative society.
- Developing insights about the social enterprises and their local context – How formal and informal institutions – social capital environment and resources affect social enterprise performance and vice-versa.
- Developing thoughtful and new policy-relevant insights and stakeholder-relevant recommendations.
As part of the large-scale data collection efforts, we will collect rich data on the sorts of policy recommendations that social entrepreneurs themselves wish to make, and the visions they hold for society. We aim to enrich our policy recommendations with these bottom-up views: the views of a 1000 social enterprises across Europe, Russia and China.
It's a big challenge and we are looking forward to it.