Bridging the gap between for-profit and non-profit enterprises could unlock potentials of the social economy it was concluded in lively discussions during local policy focus group in Germany.
The division between for-profit and non-profit enterprises has been a recurrent topic. The dominant opinion was that this distinction needs to be bridged to allow SEs to find appropriate funding and eventually be integrated into traditional funding and support structures. This bridging is more crucial than the discussion of whether there should be a specific legal form for SEs.
It would be beneficial to have support for the complex issue of finding the right legal form for an SE in the form of a specific category for SEs e.g. at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce to build up expertise for consulting SEs there and show the whole spectrum of possible legal forms from non-profit to for-profit.
There is a need for a clear and agreed-upon definition of SEs, as a basis for a potential specific legal form and / or legal benefits as well as for networking, lobbying, education, and communication with the general public.
It was agreed that social impact measurement is much needed, but at the same time, SEs struggle with the very complex and time-consuming process, especially because to date there is no possibility of acquiring funding for these activities.
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