Cited as: Karré, P.M. (2021). Social Enterprise in the Netherlands: Between Hope and Hype. In J. Defourny & M. Nyssens (eds.). Social Enterprise in Western Europe: Theory, Models and Practice (pp. 149-165). New York and London, Routledge.
In the Netherlands, there is big hope, especially among politicians, social entrepreneurs and their advocates, that social enterprise (SE) will be able to help the government and other third-sector actors to tackle major societal problems, especially in cities. This chapter describes the concepts linked to SE and the context within which they have emerged and developed. It maps the SE sector and identifies the various SE models in the Netherlands and analyses the relations between social enterprises and public authorities. Social enterprises can operate under a wide array of legal forms. They can, as commercial enterprises, opt for the form of a private limited-liability company or that of a public company. Dutch social entrepreneurs are good at making their voices heard through the advocacy group Social Enterprise NL.