One of the most serious problems that social enterprises in the EU face is a lack of institutional visibility. This is due to the peculiarities of national accounting systems which do not consider them as a separate category of enterprises, neglecting or not sufficiently taking into account their different characteristics when compared to traditional capital companies.
Against this background, in 2012 the European Commission financed research projects to collect statistics in five countries, led by national statistical offices in each country.
It is expected that as a result of such projects, social enterprises will progressively start appearing in national statistical systems.
In 2011 the Commission adopted a Communication called the 'Social Business Initiative' with the aim to create a favourable climate for social enterprises.
The initiative encompasses a series of actions whose main objective is to promote the role that social enterprises play in Europe’s economy and to raise awareness of their importance.