What is a Social Enterprise?
A social enterprise carries out social activities while doing business.
The following characteristics must be met in order to call yourself a social enterprise:
Social enterprise in Denmark, there is an agreement that a social enterprise must be defined as a company that:
- Has a social aim – to do good for individuals or communities
- Sales products or services – and is not just a project that seeks financial support
- Reinvests any profits back in the company – shareholders cannot take out dividends
- Registers as a business with a CVR (VAT) number – it must be a company, not a project or part of the public sector
- Is democratic and citizen-oriented – it is legitimate in relation to its surroundings
The Public Sector
- We have for several generations decided that the government handles the welfare state. Public institutions follow certain rules and documentation requirements.
The Business / Market
- Private companies produce and sell goods and generate income for individuals and societies
– is “free time” where people can express themselves. They play football, engage in political work and make contributions within volunteering organizations.
Although many companies have a respected social approach in the community, they are not defined as a social enterprise unless they follow the above characteristics.
Social economic entrepreneur
The entrepreneurs behind a social economic activity are social economic entrepreneurs. A social economic entrepreneur can also spark initiatives within a traditional business or organization.
The definition of a social economic entrepreneur is:
One or more individuals, groups or initiatives that identifies a societal or individual unresolved problem and develop innovative initiatives with a significant social and economic value and manages to engage the civil society as part of their venture.
Social Entrepreneur works in three worlds
It is somewhat more complex to be a social economic entrepreneur than an ordinary entrepreneur.
A leader of a social enterprise must be able to work within the three pillars on which the Danish society is structured around: