European Policy

A series of documents written by our ViSEnet partners provide an insight into the different legal and support structures for social enterprise in Finland, Estonia and Romania. They highlight how these are a product of different histories, policy contexts and cultures.



Social Entrepreneurship in Estonia, a brief description.

This paper by Roger Evans, Eesti Maaülikool and Mervi Raudsaar, Tartu Ülikool provides an overview of the history of Estonia and its impact on ideas of social entrepreneurship and social enterprise. A useful diagram outlines the development of social entrepreneurship models from 1988. Despite limited support available the paper outlines the different types of social enterprise currently operating in Estonia and the available educational and support networks.

Read more here:



This paper written by Professor Carmen Paunescu, PhD, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, UNESCO Department for Business Administration, highlights the areas where there are opportunities for the development of rural social enterprise, the policy context and financial and other support available.

Much of the focus is on agricultural activities and the development of rural businesses but there is also support for the development of social and cultural activities. The National Rural Development Network, Groups for Local Action and local DLRC partnership are key players.


Read more here: Rural Social Enterprise in Romania



This paper by Katja Rinne-Koski – Doctoral Student, Ruralia Institute at the University of Helsinki highlights that while social entrepreneurship is at an early stage in Finland, there is a long tradition of community entrepreneurship and rural co-operatives with strong legislative support.

A report in 2010 looked to develop a model of social enterprise suitable for the Finnish context and led to the development of criteria for social enterprise and a brand to promote it. However, support both financial and otherwise remained limited. The authors suggest that this may be changing with a focus on improving services in rural areas.

Read more here: Rural Social Enterprise in Finland 1


Further detailed reports on the social enterprise ecosystems in Finland and other European partner countries are here: