The Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia in cooperation with the Estonian Social Entrepreneurship Association, Association for Social Enterprises in Denmark and Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS in Latvia have published an analytical report “Social Entrepreneurship Certification and Labeling” (2017), supported by Nordic Council of Ministers.
The main goal of the project was to create a cooperation between social entrepreneurship networks and associations in Latvia, Estonia and Denmark, and to share existing knowledge and experiences on social entrepreneurship legal frameworks and social entrepreneurship labeling.
Social entrepreneurship, an effective tool for solving social problems, has proven to be a fast growing sector in Europe. It is a relatively new concept in the Baltic States and not a very old one in Scandinavia as well. Each year there are more and more social enterprises tackling multitude of social problems and challenges, offering a diverse range of solutions. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of this type of entrepreneurship and many other reasons, social enterprises very often face obstacles and challenges that conventional businesses and civil society organizations already have dealt with to a certain extent: the lack of legal frameworks, insufficient state and municipality support, complicated business models, enterprise identity issues, the lack of awareness and visibility among the general public, access to investment markets. Many organizations all over Europe, including the Baltic States and Nordic countries, are involved in finding tools and methods to help social enterprises solve these challenges; often proving regional cooperation to be an effective approach for finding and testing solutions. The purpose of this publication is to look at one of these possible solutions - social entrepreneurship labeling initiatives – and investigate if they can help alleviate some of the problems and challenges faced by social entrepreneurs.
This publication also looks at social entrepreneurship situations in Latvia, Estonia and Denmark, giving suggestions and recommendations on how social entrepreneurship labeling can contribute to creating healthy and thriving social entrepreneurship ecosystems in these countries. Our hope is that this analytical report will be useful for social entrepreneurship ecosystem stakeholders and interested parties not only in Latvia, Estonia and Denmark, but also all across Europe. Since it touches both on existing research on social entrepreneurship labeling, as well as investigates particular case studies and existing examples, it can be used to gain a deeper insight into this topic, as discussion material, or as a practical guide for beginning to think and talk about social entrepreneurship labeling initiatives.