In Spotting Trends


This report is part of the study “Social enterprises and their ecosystems in Europe” and it provides an overview of the social enterprise landscape in Denmark based on available information as of December 2018.


Intermediary Org: European Commission

Year: 2018


The origin of “social enterprise” can be traced back both to the mid- to late-1800s farmers’ and workers’ cooperative movements and to the emergence of voluntary associations and non-profit organisations a few decades later. Both the “socialist workers’ movement” and the “Grundtvigian movement” have been highly influential in the thinking of both old and new types of social enterprises. Furthermore, these two movements were crucial sources of inspiration in the formation of Danish politics. Even from their most modest beginnings, farmers’ cooperatives were multifaceted in nature, in that sense directly comparable to the hybrid character, and mixed resource base of today’s social enterprises. The cooperatives did not only protect and facilitate the economic interests of farmers, but also catered to their cultural, educational and political interests in order of protecting and enhancing the welfare of the participants’ and their communities. These movements were paralleled by the tradition of charity and voluntarism through the third-sector, religious organisations and volunteer associations helping to further articulate the “social economy” as such…