Social entrepreneurship and confiscated mafia properties in Italy

Social entrepreneurship and confiscated mafia properties in Italy
Loredana Picciotto

EMES-SOCENT Conference Selected Papers, ECSP-LG13-73

In the 1980s and 1990s new entrepreneurial dynamics emerged in the third sector as response to the challenges of modern socio-economic context. Indeed, social enterprises arose primarily in response to social needs not adequately met, or not met at all, by public services or for profit enterprises (Borzaga and Defourny, 2001). That is because they provide goods and services which the market or public sector is unwilling or unable to provide. In the European context, the process of institutionalization of  social enterprises has often been closely linked to the evolution of public policies, especially considering the structural unemployment and the need to reduce state budget deficits (Defourny, Nyssens, 2010). In this sense, the entrepreneurship policy has been characterized by measures that promote the transition from unemployment to self-employment, used as a tool to actively intervene in the labor market (Román et al., 2013). For example, in many countries, there has been a significant development of specific public programs designed to promote social enterprise in the field of work integration (the so-called WISEs). As pointed out by Defourny and Nyssens (2010), the main objective of “work integration social enterprises” is to help low-qualified unemployed people, who are at risk of permanent exclusion from the labour market. The mission of the WISEs is to integrate these people into work and society through a productive activity.

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