Publication date: 10 October 2023
Research areas: Local development
Publication categories: Books
Arguments: Local development, Welfare and services
Organizational types: Social enterprises
Tags: impresa sociale

by Carlo Borzaga and Giulia Galera


People with disabilities, people with drug addictions, the elderly, those afflicted with mental illness, minors and at-risk youth: social enterprises were born to affect the degree of social justice by equipping disadvantaged communities and groups with the tools they need to improve their level of well-being and emancipate themselves from situations of marginality and exclusion.

What is a social enterprise? What characteristics must it have and why does its full recognition remain a challenge to this day?Born in Italy as early as the 1980s, social enterprise is an attempt to self-organize in order to provide answers to collective problems. It is a whole new way of doing business that takes shape thanks to the voluntary mobilization of citizens and goes so far as to question production models geared to profit maximization in order to promote participatory forms of managing goods and services of general interest. A whole new way of organizing welfare services in an era of “new poor” and growing vulnerabilities.A biography of social enterprise both to encourage the adoption of policies that enhance the renewed protagonism of civil society and the regaining by social enterprises of a full awareness of their own specificity.


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