Legal reform as a catalyst for social enterprise: an international social enterprise law & policy report

Achieving rapid, large-scale improvements in social, environmental, and economic outcomes for people and business in all countries around the world is an imperative that requires an “all hands on deck” approach. It is not enough to leave it to governmental and non-governmental organizations to do the hard work of addressing climate change, environmental degradation, and inequalities in health outcomes, education, and social welfare. On the other hand, while many businesses have also taken steps to address these problems, we cannot rely on the goodwill of business interests at large to reform economic systems to promote sustainable growth. Social enterprises therefore have a vital role to play in bridging this gap. Social enterprises integrate social, environmental, and other impact objectives with traditional business practices and techniques to seek profitable, and therefore self-sustaining, operations while serving the common good. Although social enterprises can be found in all corners of the world, most jurisdictions suffer from a dearth of laws and policies that support them, and in some cases, requirements that may be an actual hindrance to their proliferation.

Accordingly, we have produced this social enterprise law and policy report (this “Report”) to identify legal structures and policies that nations can adopt to catalyze the advancement of social enterprises around the world. The recommendations and observations included in this Report have been derived from our review of laws and policies that help social enterprises flourish in 83 jurisdictions around the world, covering every inhabited continent and every major legal structure.

Read the Report, prepared by Morrison & Foerster LLP with support from Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation

Explore the reviewed laws and policies of the 83 jurisdictions covered in the report through our interactive appendix.