Background

Over the past 5 to 14 years, country monitors in Germany, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom have delivered in-depth data on social enterprises and impact-driven startups.

Leading to important changes in policymaking and investment decision-making, as well as increased visibility and understanding of the social enterprise model and its crucial role in driving progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Building upon this success, in 2020 Euclid Network initiated the European Social Enterprise Monitor (ESEM) in collaboration with its members and partners. The first and most comprehensive social enterprise monitor compiled on the European level, the ESEM seeks to close the current gap on social enterprise data.

Mission

The ESEM project seeks to uncover, understand, communicate and promote the needs and interests of enterprises in the social and solidarity economy across Europe.

Based on data gathered directly from social enterprises and analysed both in national reports and a comparative European study, the project generates profound insights on the social enterprise ecosystem in Europe and makes them available for government officials, investors, researchers and civil society organisations. In essence, the ESEM project highlights opportunities for the further development of the social enterprise sector, with the objective of informing policy, funding and support decisions that can help to mainstream the social enterprise model and enhance its social, economic and environmental impact.

The collection of ESEM data over time is meant to enable decision-makers to track the effectiveness of their policy, funding and support initiatives, and to assess the evolution of the European and national ecosystems for social enterprise.

Values

The ESEM project is managed in alignment with the values of openness, collaboration, inclusivity, impact and excellence.

Only by conducting rigorous research to deeply understand the challenges, needs and aspirations of social enterprises, from their direct perspectives, can we design and advocate for effective policy, legislative, funding and support frameworks to facilitate the growth, flourishing and enhanced impact of the social enterprise sector.

Given the diversity of this sector, such knowledge is best developed in collaboration with national experts, and best leveraged to effect change by national networks and support organisations for social enterprise. We also believe that this knowledge should be made as open and broadly accessible as possible in order to achieve the greatest possible impact and influence.

Governance

The ESEM project is managed at the European level by Euclid Network, in collaboration with Social Entrepreneurship Network Germany (SEND) and with the support of a Research Board composed of leading academic experts in the social enterprise field.

The Euclid Network team is responsible for the overall management of the project at the European level, including all aspects related to European funding, sponsorship, survey development (with the Research Board serving in an advisory capacity to ensure methodological rigour), data collection and consortium management. While the European team works with the aggregated European dataset for analyses, reports and advocacy, we also support country partners with cleaning and visualising national datasets, as well as with all project communications and the dissemination of national reports.

At the national level, country teams are generally comprised of two types of organisations – a national network for social enterprise or entrepreneurship and a university or research centre. These organisations work together to provide locally-grounded expertise from their national contexts on survey development and data cleaning; they also lead survey promotion and outreach within their countries and have the option of utilising their national datasets to write country reports.

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