Designing Legal Frameworks for Social Enterprises

Practical Guidance for Policy Makers

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.

Available from April 28, 2022

In series:Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED)view more titles


Executive summary
Why a Manual on Designing legal frameworks for social enterprises?
Guidance on legal frameworks for social enterprises
Annexes5 chapters available
Data collection – Expert meetings and interviews
Case study – The Brussels 2018 Ordinance on social enterprises (Belgium): An inclusive policy-making process to co-construct a legal framework for social enterprises
Case study – Registration tool for social enterprises: Unleashing the potential of social enterprises through regulation in Denmark
Case study – Law on Social Cooperatives in Italy: Adjustment of an existing cooperative law to support social enterprise development
Case study – The 2016 Law on Societal Impact Companies in Luxembourg
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