European Social Enterprise Monitor –
Key Highlights (Europe)

65.9 %
Perceived Political Support Grade

65.9% perceive national political support for social entrepreneurship to be low, very low or non-existent

Top 3 Business Sectors (UN ISIC)

23.3% Human health & social work activities
22.2% Education
12.0% Other services activities

Company Size
  • 68.9% Micro-enterprises 
  • 19.5% Small enterprises 
  • 7.0% Medium enterprises 
  • 3.0% Large enterprises 
Top 3 UN SDGs

#8 Decent work and economic growth

#3 Good health and wellbeing

#10 Reduced inequalities

Impact Management & Measurement

58.0% currently measure their social/environmental impact; 28.3% plan to do so


37.2% refer to the UN SDGs in impact reporting; 23.2% plan to do so

Top 3 Beneficiaries (Persons)

33.3% Children/young individuals in general

27.2% Women/girls

27.1% Individuals with mental illness/health problems/psychological/neurological disability

Funding Gap

On average, ESEM SEs only managed to secure enough funding to meet 60.7% out of 100% of their financing needs in the past 12 months. Gap = 39.3%.

Top 3 Sources of External Financing

44.2% Public financing
24.7% Private donations
21.3% Foundation funding 

Top 3 Key Barriers
  • 44.6% Poor understanding/awareness of social enterprises among general public/customers
  • 41.0% Weak lobby for social entrepreneurship
  • 40.0% Lack of options to finance the organisation once started 

Explore the ESEM

Explore the National and European-wide reports for 2021-2022

This report builds on the seminal work of the first ESEM 2020-2021 and has impressively scaled from eight to 21 countries in just one year across the EU and the wider European neighbourhood. It provides key data and insights for policy-makers, investors, support organisations, academia and social entrepreneurs themselves.

Explore the National and European-wide reports for 2020-2021

The European Commission is proud to have supported the first inaugural European Social Enterprise Monitor (ESEM). It serves as a testament to the extent social enterprises already contribute to the European community and how much potential they still have to offer.

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ESEM National Reports 2021- 2022

ESEM National Reports 2020-2021

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