Fashion and Creative Business

ENT3-A2. Types of social enterprises



This activity will help you to deepen your knowledge on Social Enterprises and to find some examples.




Basically, we cannot talk about specific types of social enterprises, but we can make a certain classification that considers their legal form and the population they serve.

We will now name some ways to classify social enterprises and give a brief description of each one and its characteristics.

Integration Companies

They are companies that aim to serve as a bridge to people who are in a situation of social vulnerability with difficulty in accessing a job, who can access a job in which they are also in constant training and then be able to move on to an ordinary company.

Special Employment Centres

These centres can be set up by both public bodies and private institutions or companies, provided that the aim is to be able to attend to people with some kind of functional, intellectual or mental diversity. In other words, their objective and purpose are to ensure paid employment for people with disabilities. They must constitute a means of integrating the greatest number of these workers into the normal work regime.

Social Initiative Cooperatives

Cooperatives whose social objective is either to provide care services by carrying out health, educational, cultural or other social activities, or to carry out any economic activity aimed at the labour integration of persons suffering from any kind of social exclusion and, in general, to meet social needs not covered by the market, shall be classified as “social initiatives”. In addition, another of the characteristics that these cooperatives must have is that they must be non-profit making.

As we have already said at the beginning of this point, there can be many types of social enterprises, we have considered these to be the most relevant.

Watch this video to learn some examples of social enterprises: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_g5RqwW51I (3’35 minutes).

Check also this link to learn about 3 examples of social enterprise:  https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/what-is-a-social-enterprise


According to the European Commission, “a significant proportion of Europe’s economy is intended to make profits for people other than investors or owners. Known as the ‘social economy’, it includes cooperatives, mutual societies, non-profit associations, foundations and social enterprises. They operate a very broad number of commercial activities, provide a wide range of products and services across the European single market and generate millions of jobs. Social enterprises are also the engine for social innovation.”

You can have more information here: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/social-economy_en

You can watch this video of a social cooperative located in Catalonia, employing people with mental illnesses: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpJ-lmlImKs (6’39 minutes)


Now, think about social enterprises that you know based on the theory that you have just learned. Do you know any social enterprise that employs especially women?