Document Type



This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only


Environmental sciences (social aspects

Publication Details

available as an ebook here


Across Europe, social enterprises are making a significant impact on communities, particularly those blighted by high levels of unemployment, poverty and disadvantage. According to the European Commission, they represent 2 million enterprises (i.e. 10 per cent of all European businesses) and employ over 11 million paid employees (the equivalent of 6 per cent of the working population of the EU). Social enterprises are present in almost every sector of the economy, such as banking, insurance, agriculture, craft, various commercial services, and health and social services. The benefits of social enterprises are many, but in economic terms, they can support the Irish economy on its road to recovery in a number of ways. Not only can they reduce and prevent long-term unemployment, they can provide training and re-skilling, and they can provide important services in marginalised communities. The benefits to the State are obvious - social enterprises will reduce State expenditure on social welfare payments and will provide services in a cost effective way.