The analysis carried out brought to light both the unexpressed potential and marginal role displayed by social enterprises in the target countries in comparison with western Europe. The barriers that hamper social enterprise development include the lack of supporting environments and infrastructure, restricted access to resources, privileged administrative treatment of specific organizational forms, unsuitable institutional framework and an inconsistent legal environment. This research focused in particular on the development paths of social enterprises in 11 CEE and CIS.
On the theoretical side, this research contributed to identifying the main limitations of the existing literature on social enterprises and to pinpointing possible linkages between the economic theory of the firm and new interdisciplinary approaches. Special attention was paid to behavioural theory in order to explain principal-agents’ relationships in light of not-self-interested behaviours and cooperative solutions.
This research had two main goals: first, to provide a snapshot of work integration in social cooperatives in Italy; second, to investigate the attitude of social cooperatives towards the external integration of disadvantaged workers in the open labour market. More specifically, the research focused on how B-type cooperatives manage to combine production, training, and integration (both internal and external) goals.
Microfinance and Fair Trade practices are becoming important vehicles to bring the market closer to marginalized households. Such projects support individual talents and turn marginalized households into the main characters of development. The participation in cooperative activities in the case of Fair Trade and the group lending mechanisms in Microfinance may enhance inclusion processes and strengthen social capital.