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Over 90% of surveyed women feel that they have been empowered as a woman by starting and running a social enterprise, says a European study

15 October 2015 [ English ] français ]

The European Women’s Lobby, the largest umbrella organization of women’s associations in the European Union, has recently launched the first research on women-led ‪‎social enterprises, including social cooperatives, in Europe. It is the result of collected data on over 370 women surveyed in ten countries, including Bulgaria, Germany, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. It shows that over 90% of surveyed women feel that they have been empowered as a woman by starting and running a social enterprise. On top of that, 85% feel that they are empowering other women with their social enterprise activity.‬‬‬‬

24 out of 377 enterprises where identified as cooperatives or social cooperatives. Only in in Italy 10 out of 31 women surveyed identified as social cooperatives and in France 10 out of 55 women surveyed identified themselves as members of social cooperatives. A number of cooperatives from the CECOP network have been mapped and can be found by sector, country or keyword here: http://westarteurope.org/database/.

Another result underlines that over half of women social entrepreneurs that answered to the survey reinvested more than the 90% of their surplus back into their organization or into a social cause, and over two-thirds reinvested between 61% and 100%. “This is extremely high, and corresponds to data indicating that women are not motivated to start social enterprises for profit seeking reasons”, shares the study. Human Health and Social work activates, Education, Food services, Information and Communication are the most represented sectors among women social entrepreneurs. The survey confirms that access to funding is one of the main challenges they face.

The study has been developed in the framework of the WEstart project, a mapping to gain a better understanding of the situation and state of play of women’s social entrepreneurship in Europe.

More info here: www.WEstartEurope.org