Social entrepreneurship and innovation

What is social enterprise?

Social enterprises employ business approaches to address social and environmental problems and enhance their communities. They combine the entrepreneurial approaches and trading methods of the private sector with the social mission and public values of the voluntary and public sector. 

Engaging social entrepreneurs across Europe

Through our work in this area we want to engage social entrepreneurs in the UK and across Europe to look for new ways of doing business and of tackling Europe’s current economic and social challenges, especially among young unemployed and disadvantaged populations:

  • We work with social entrepreneurs, communities, schools and universities, think tanks, government agencies and NGOs.
  • We provide opportunities to network and develop partnership ideas through international events and study tours to and from the UK.
  • We develop training programmes to support social entrepreneurs in increasing the impact of their work.
  • We explore funding schemes with partners to create more investment opportunities in social entrepreneurship.
  • We offer deeper understanding of working principles and bring together key stakeholders to share experiences and discuss policy.

Report for Slovenia: Social enterprise in the global context: the role of higher education institutions

Read a comprehensive report in which we explore the role of higher education institutions in establishing social enterprises in country. Download your copy here

Our vision of social enterprise in Europe in 2020

As a contribution to the European Commission’s event Social Entrepreneurs: Have your Say in Strasbourg 16–17 January 2014, the British Council published a think-piece ‘What will Social Enterprise look like in Europe by 2020?’.  

Based on a series of interviews with social enterprise experts in the region, it offers an opinion of where social enterprise might be heading in the coming years in Europe. 

Read the Vision 2020 for Europe

Join the world's largest social enterprise online community

Join The Social Enterprise Network, the world’s largest network of social enterprises and social entrepreneurs created by the Guardian in partnership with the British Council, and get insight, advice and best practice from the community.

The network aims to connect and empower socially-minded people, and help them generate greater positive impact in the real world. 

Registration is free.  Join the Social Enterprise Network now.


See also

External links