Are there any social enterprises in Finland?

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    Image: Jere Salonen

    Finnish Institute in London has published a report on small and medium sized Finnish enterprises that aim at solving social problems. The research was executed as a part of a larger survey and just under 4000 enterprises responded.

    The key findings were that 30% of respondents considered their goals to be related to solving social problems. 15% of respondents also stated that they recycle their profit back to the activity as opposed to shareholders. 4% of respondents considered that their goals were greatly related to solving social problems and they recycled their profit back to the activity.

    The 15% group serves as an estimate of the social enterprise sector in Finland.

    This group's share of the economy is approximately 27 billion Euros and they employ nearly 130,000 people.

    Also, these businesses are more optimistic with regards to the economic situation. The belief that their economic situation is improving next year is 7 percentage points above the whole sector.

    In addition to the enterprises described above, we studied businesses who think that the sentence "the goals of our business are related to solving a social or an environmental problem" suits them extremely well. These businesses can be regarded as social enterprises and they consist of somewhat 4% (146) of all respondents. These businesses make approximately 7 billion in turnover of Finnish companies (7% of the small and medium-sized businesses' turnover) and 22% stated that they are very willing to expand (7% of the whole sector).

    "The role of businesses with a social responsibility becomes more crucial at times when the core values of businesses are being looked at. People want to be in control of their destinies - and wish do this by entreprenerial means. Social entrepreneurship is currently a growing movement in the UK and in rest of Europe", says Institute's Society Programme director and writer of the report, Antti Karjalainen.

    The Finnish Institute in London aims at advancing the discussion on social entrepreneurship in Finland and networking the enterprises with UK and Irish counterparts.