"Social enterprises are businesses that are not only seeking to include people or to share profits more fairly, but that also create jobs. They are businesses whose very ethos is grounded in responsibility and long term shared benefits. Being a social enterprise can in itself be a competitive advantage." (J-M Barroso, President of the Commission)
On 18 November 2011 the European Commission organised a conference "Promoting social entrepreneurship in Europe".
The objective of this conference was to discuss the way to design an adequate policy-making to help develop social entrepreneurship in the European Union and thus materialize the Commission commitment taken under the Single Market Act (Lever 8: Social entrepreneurship).
The basis for discussion was the Social Business Initiative ("SBI") adopted by the Commission in October 2011 as a part of a global package aiming at making the European enterprises more responsible.
The internal market is based on a "highly competitive social market economy", which reflects the trend towards inclusive, socially fairer and environmentally sustainable growth.
New business models are being used, in which these societal concerns are taking precedence over the exclusive objective of financial profit. A level playing field must be ensured and initiatives, which introduce more fairness in the economy and contribute to the fight against social exclusion, should be supported.