The third and last Empower-SE podcast episode: Approaching Social Enterprise from an Ecosystems and Governance Perspective

The third and last Empower-SE podcast episode: Approaching Social Enterprise from an Ecosystems and Governance Perspective

We are happy to present the third and last episode of the “Empowering Social Enterprise Research Podcast”. In this episode, we lift our gaze to the context in which social enterprises emerge and operate. We explore the concept of ecosystem, which considers, on the one hand, the connections between social enterprises and other players in their field of action, and on the other hand, the institutional conditions that enable social enterprises to thrive. We also examine the notion of multi-stakeholder governance, learning about social enterprise models purposefully designed to promote it and showing the relevance of social enterprise involvement in governance structures at different levels.

We start by addressing the concept of an ecosystem with Francesca Petrella, Professor of Economics at the University of Aix-Marseille and researcher at the Institute of Labour Economics and Industrial Sociology (France).

Moving on to Portugal, where Sílvia Ferreira, a researcher at the Centre for Social Studies, Coimbra University (Portugal), conducted the first Portuguese research project applying the social enterprise framework (“TIMES”). Taking an ecosystems approach, she exposed the fragmentation of the Portuguese social enterprise ecosystem and tracked its historical roots.

How do social enterprises pop up in indigenous reservations throughout the world? This is the question we address through the interview of Andrés Morales Pachón, a researcher at La Rioja International University (Spain), who studied indigenous social enterprises.

Back to Europe, we take a closer look at an innovative model for multistakeholder governance: the French cooperative society of collective interest. This is the model behind the fascinating Friche Belle de Mai, a cultural venue in Marseille owned and steered by a group of very diverse stakeholders and which is home to a constellation of over 60 organizations.

At the end of the episode, we also reflect on the end of this COST Action and on where to go from here. As researchers point out, this project created a rich dialogue platform for social enterprise scholars. Cross-fertilization is now flowing, which is excellent news for research and practice. Hence, to paraphrase the famous quote from the movie Casablanca, the project ends with “the beginning of a beautiful research friendship”.

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Photo:Friche Belle de Mai © Jean-Christophe LETT



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