EMES organizes international research events that have become a reference for the community of social enterprise researchers. Sometimes these events are large conferences with hundreds of participants; other events gather only selected groups of researchers and other stakeholders, mostly related with ongoing research projects or other initiatives.
On the basis of a large European research project carried out over five years, the Network organized the 1st EMES International Conference, titled “The Social Enterprise. A comparative perspective”, at the University of Trento in 2001. This event and the first EMES book, “The Emergence of Social Enterprise” (Routledge, 2001), launched the topic of “social enterprise” as a research theme on the European scene. They also succeeded in promoting a more widespread knowledge of the concept of social enterprise, both in Europe and outside Europe, and pinpointed new research themes that have been thoroughly investigated in recent years.
EMES also promotes the development of innovative analytical frameworks on social enterprise among scholars engaged in third sector research through events such as the European conferences co-organized with the International Society for Third Sector Research in 2005 and 2008.
Worth noting is the EMES International Research Conference on Social Enterprise, which is organized in alternative years with the EMES International PhD Sumer School. So far, the following EMES International Research Conferences have been organized:
- 2009 – Hosted by Euricse (Trento (Italy)
- 2011 – “Social Innovation through Social Entrepreneurship in Civil Society”, hosted by the Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Roskilde (Denmark),
- 2013 – “If not for profit, for what? And how?“, hosted by the Centre for Social Economy in Liege (Belgium).
- 2015 – “Building a scientific field to foster social enterprise eco-system”, hosted by FinSERN in Helsinki (Finland).
- 2017 – “Social enterprise and sustainable societies“, hosted by CIRTES in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium).