The Impact of Social Enterprises and Co-operatives upon Socio-economic Development in Poland

EMES Conferences Selected Papers Series, ECSP-B08-21
Thematic line: Social entrepreneurship and social enterprise

This paper aims to explore the possible role of social enterprises as vehicles for socioeconomic development at both national and local level with special regard to the Polish case.

Following a description of the social enterprise as a concept, attention is devoted to the impact of social enterprises upon local development in transitional countries. Next, the second part of this contribution focuses on the outcomes of an empirical analysis – conducted in May-June 2007 – that involved 26 social enterprises located in 7 voivodships in Poland.

Given the goal of assessing the impact of social enterprises on the socio-economic development of the localities they fit in, this contribution emphasizes the role of social enterprises in: supplying general-interest services, favouring a more balanced use of local resources, generating new employment, enhancing the social capital that is accumulated at local level, and institutionalizing informal activities.

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