Sweden has a tradition of social movements going back to 19th century, though what today is meant by the social economy was fairly recently introduced in Sweden in 1995 after joining the European Union in 1995. Sweden has, in comparison to many other European countries, an extensive welfare state. With increasing challenges to finance, the welfare state and societal challenges, a gap for new solutions has opened up where social entrepreneurs have a role to play.
Social Entrepreneurship in Sweden is one of the growing sector of Swedish economy where the public and private sectors are collaborating to reap the social and environmental benefits derive from the development of social entrepreneurship around the country.
Examples of some of the stakeholders that have supported the education and impact of developing social entrepreneurship around the country, like the establishment of forum for Social Innovation (MSI) is a platform for academia, industry, government and non-profit organisations in Sweden who want to take part in the development of the fields of social innovation and social entrepreneurship.
Another platform for economic agency is established which is part of the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation. Its main task is to foster entrepreneurship, business and regional development. The economic agency of growth aims to make social enterprises and to benefit them by the enabling of creative interventions. They have been continuously asked by the government to generally support the social economy including the social enterprise field with some programmes for funding and administrative issues for development of the social enterprise sector in general.
Reach for Change:
‘Reach for Change’ is a non-profit with a mission to support individuals, companies and organizations focusing on improving children’s lives. Reach for Change’s core products are its programmes. Among others they offer campaigns where they seek to raise awareness on the vulnerability of childhood. An important aspect of the programmes is to engage the business entrepreneurs of the Kinnevik group as mentors. They also provide enterprises with funding.
The Swedish Inheritance Fund
The Swedish Inheritance Fund provides grants to organisations to test new ideas for activities for children, young people and persons with disabilities. Examples of projects would be those focusing on producing materials and pilot studies; others have been more related to targeting marginalized people with educational activities. For example people who suffer from some form of physical disability. There is no categorization in how much funding is supporting social enterprise specifically but a report from 2013 says that 67 projects were financed between 1994-2012. Total funding was 12.4 million Swedish crowns.
The inclusive business register (Företagsregistret) is a database provided by Statistics Sweden comprising most all companies and organisations in Sweden. Yet no attempt has been made to enable emphasis on social enterprise. A number of 500 organizations are needed to start coding a sector of actors. Steps in forming the sector is underway and, if required more information check the database.
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