Advise to policy makers how to scale social enterprise for social impact - new OECD policy brief


A new OECD Policy Brief on scaling the impact of social enterprises (SEs) calls on public policy makers to “acknowledge
social enterprises’ capacity to generate value for the community and support their scaling efforts as a key objective”.

The brief defines scaling as “the most effective and efficient way to increase a social enterprise’s social impact, based on its
operational model, to satisfy the demand for relevant products and/or services. This definition focuses on increasing social
impact, rather than the relative growth of the social enterprise itself” (Weber, Kröger and Lambrich, 2015). The authors are offering support to policy makers who might be interested in fostering SEs to tackle social problems but do not know how policy can contribute to scaling social enterprises’ social impact.

They address this question in two steps:

  1. By illustrating a number of strategies currently being used by social enterprises to scale their impact.
  2. By discussing the challenges encountered in this endeavour and the policy responses that could help overcome them, i.e. social clauses in public procurement, specifically tailored funding mechanisms, or the promotion of open SE networks

This paper was drafted by Stellina Galitopoulou, Policy Analyst, and EMES member Antonella Noya, Senior Policy Analyst, from the Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED) Programme of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), with expert input from Flaviano Zandonai and EMES Board member Giulia Galera, Researchers at European Research Institute on Cooperatives and Social Enterprises (EURICSE), Trento, EMES Board member Francesca Calò, PhD Student Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University, and Lou Aisenberg, intern at the LEED Programme, OECD.

The policy brief is avalaible for download in English, French and German

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