Conclusion to ‘What will Social Enterprise look like in Europe in 2020?
Senscot understands social enterprise as a third sector activity – motivated by public benefit – clearly distinguished from activity for private profit. When, last year, the British Council published this report – it was a political decision to promote commercial interests – over those of civil society.
There may well not be a recognisable ‘social enterprise sector’ by 2020. Certainly any attempts to confine social enterprise to specific legal structures or models of governance will have ceased. But the concepts and ideals of social enterprise will be spreading rapidly into all corners of society, becoming mainstream. All organisations, whatever their ownership model, will be judged on a spectrum of social impact. Social finance will create new opportunities and with it new threats; driving organisations towards models that deliver a social and financial return. Investment will move from innovation towards replication of proven models; from short term outputs to long-term impact. Complex networks will lead to cross-border collaboration and the rapid spread of successful ideas.
And social enterprises themselves? They will be where they should be; working at the margins but no longer marginalised; creating and shaping markets; pushing boundaries; building nations; and creating the space for governments, charities and for-profit businesses to follow.
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