Social Entrepreneurship

We are facing a multitude of social challenges. Climate change, child and old-age poverty, the reform backlog in the education system, the integration of refugees, inclusion and demographic change are just a few examples.

Social entrepreneurship tries to use the potential of people for innovative solutions that have an entrepreneurial approach in common. Social entrepreneurship offers – alongside state-organised aid on the one hand and civil society engagement on the other – a third way to solve social problems.

Social entrepreneurs pursue the goal of positive social impact in their core business; social return comes before financial return.

Social entrepreneurs and their enterprises are characterised by the following criteria:

  1. An entrepreneurial approach is taken, i.e. products or services are offered for which there are paying customers.
  2. At the core of the business model is the creation of social added value, in the sense of contributing to the solution of a socio-ecological problem. This is also the reason for the company’s existence.
  3. A significant part of the company’s profits will be reinvested in social impact. In addition, the company should be managed in a socially responsible way.

You can find examples of social entrepreneurs among our members.


Here you can find exciting further information and literature on the topic of social entrepreneurship and social innovation.

Resilience in social enterprises

In her master’s thesis, Julia Salzlechner investigated the topic of “Resilience in Social Enterprises”. Based on group discussions, she worked out which resilience factors helped the social entrepreneurs* through crises and how they were able to apply them in crisis situations – exemplified by the Covid19 crisis. Click here to download the master thesis.

European Social Enterprises Monitor

Social entrepreneurship is attracting increasing interest as an innovative and sustainable approach to address inequality and environmental challenges, create jobs and alleviate poverty. In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in both the creation and professionalisation of social enterprises. However, there are still significant gaps in awareness, visibility and understanding of social enterprises… Continue reading European Social Enterprises Monitor

Social Entrepreneurship Monitor Austria 2020 The first data based on the Austrian social entrepreneurship landscape With the “Social Entrepreneurship Monitor Austria 2020”, which was commissioned by the Ministry of Economics and prepared by Social Entrepreneurship Network Austria, a well-founded data basis is now available for Austria for the first time. The analysis of the needs… Continue reading

Social Reporting Standard

Guidelines for impact-oriented reporting The SRS provides a uniform language and comprehensible system for results and impact-oriented reporting by social organisations. It thus facilitates dialogue on impact and makes the social value of social work visible. The common language and the exchange about impact promote an impact-oriented learning culture, both within the organisation and with… Continue reading Social Reporting Standard

Social Entrepreneurship – Transformational Power for a Social-Solidarity Economy.

A study. Portraits of enterprises. A reader. This “reader” aims to make social entrepreneurship visible. It is not a classical study, but it provides indications of what is meant by social entrepreneurship and how these concepts can be brought together with co-determination models. It also shows how such business concepts are implemented as social enterprises… Continue reading Social Entrepreneurship – Transformational Power for a Social-Solidarity Economy.

The billion-dollar potential of social innovations

How do social entrepreneurs manage to change systems? What hinders and what promotes them? How great is the potential of their solutions really?Ashoka and McKinsey & Company jointly conducted in-depth interviews with social entrepreneurs and their partners in Germany to answer such questions. Here is the result.

Joint Declaration to the European Commission

SENA, in the framework of the Euclid Network, the European network of social entrepreneurship representations, together with 23 other national social entrepreneurship representations from 20 countries, has prepared a declaration to the European Commission to promote social entrepreneurship and social innovation in Europe. In this declaration, we present seven priorities to take the issue forward.These… Continue reading Joint Declaration to the European Commission

10 Core Positions for Social Entrepreneurship in Austria

As a member of GEMSE, SENA supports the 10 core positions for better framework conditions and support services for social enterprises in Austria. GEMSE (GEmeinsam Mehr Social Entrepreneurship) is a multi-stakeholder group that has been meeting regularly since 2014 with an increasingly large composition to advance the future industry of social entrepreneurship.