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Key facts

Population

Current population of Sweden –
10,415,811

Data supplied by the World Bank

GDP

Current GDP of Sweden – 635,663.80 ($ millions)

Data supplied by the World Bank

World Happiness Index

Sweden currently ranks  7.384 out of 10.

Since 2002, the World Happiness Report has used statistical analysis to determine the world’s happiest countries. To determine the world’s happiest country, researchers analysed comprehensive Gallup polling data from 149 countries for the past three years, specifically monitoring performance in six particular categories: gross domestic product per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make your own life choices, generosity of the general population, and perceptions of internal and external corruption levels.

Find out more

Social Enterprise Data

(Source: ESEM)

esem-report-cover-squares-sweden

Sweden Social Enterprise Monitor
2020-2021

Country Fact sheet: Sweden
2021-2022

Read The European Social Enterprise Monitor Report, 2021 – 2022

The European Commission is proud to support this year’s European Social Enterprise Monitor (ESEM), the second edition covering the period 2021- 2022. This report builds on the seminal work of the first ESEM 2020-2021 and has impressively scaled from eight to 21 countries in just one year across the EU and the wider European neighbourhood. It provides key data and insights for policy-makers, investors, support organisations, academia and social entrepreneurs themselves.

Country factsheet: ESEM SEs in Sweden

(Source: ESEM)

Perceived Political Support Grade

  • 60.9% perceive national political support for social entrepreneurship to be low, very low or non-existent

Top 3 Business Sectors (UN ISIC)

  • Human health and social work activities (23.9%)
  • Education (19.6%)
  • Other services activities (membership organisations; and other personal services activities) (17.4%)

Company Size

  • Micro enterprises 73.9%
  • Small enterprises 15.2%
  • Medium enterprises 8.7%
  • Large enterprises 2.2%

Top 3 UN SDGs

#8 – Decent work and economic growth (71.7%)
#3 – Good health and well-being (65.2%)
#5 – Gender equality (65.2%)

Impact Management & Measurement

  • 50.0% currently measure their social/environmental impact; 32.6% plan to do so
  • 45.7% refer to the UN SDGs in impact reporting; 23.9% plan to do so

Top 3 Beneficiaries (Persons)

  • Long-term unemployed (32.6%)
  • Individuals with mental illness/health problems/psychological/neurological disabilities (32.6%)
  • Individuals with a physical disability (26.1%)

Top 3 Sources of External Financing

  • Public financing (52.2%)
  • Foundation funding (26.1%)
  • Private donations (21.7%)

Funding Gap

On average, Swedish ESEM SEs only managed to secure enough funding to meet 43.9% out of 100% of their financing needs in the past 12 months. Gap = 56.1%.

Top 3 Key Barriers

  • Lack of patient capital (63.0%)
  • Poor understanding/awareness of social enterprises among the general public and customers (60.9%)
  • Lack of options to finance the organisation once started (56.5%)

Key Stakeholders & Members

EN Members

Forum for Social Innovation Sweden

Type of organisation: University / Research Centre
Website – www.socialinnovation.se

The Forum for Social Innovation Sweden is a national knowledge and collaboration platform for social innovation and social enterprise in Sweden, based at Malmö University. The Forum for Social Innovation monitors the social innovation field, in Sweden and internationally, and collects research-based facts and results, expert knowledge and experiences.

Main focus & activities include:

  • Knowledge sharing & education
  • Stakeholder mapping and evaluation
  • Facilitating co-creation and collaboration across sector actors
  • Capacity-building

Ideell Arena

Type of organisation: National network for CSOs/NGOs
Website: www.ideellarena.se/

Ideell Arena is a network that was created in 1998 by a group of researchers and leaders from different non-profit organisations. Ideell Arena is run by a broad variety of NGO’s from different parts of the Swedish civil society. Their work is based on the exchange of experience and mutual learning. The focus of their work is to develop strategic leadership in the non-profit sector through innovative leadership programs, creative meeting places, networks, and by promoting research.

Reach for Change

Type of organisation: International Network, Social Incubator and Accelerator
Website: www.reachforchange.org

Reach for Change is an international non-profit with a vision of a world where all children and youth reach their full potential. RfC is working towards this vision by unleashing the power of local social entrepreneurs and enabling them to go from ideas to innovative solutions and sustainable organisations. Since 2010, Reach for Change has supported more than 1,500 social entrepreneurs in 18 countries across three continents.

Other Stakeholders

Incubators/Accelerators

Coming soon

Funders

Coming soon

Universities/Research Centres

Coming soon

Key Policies

Key Legal and Policy Framework Overview

Introduction

No social enterprise specific legal form exists in Sweden. Nevertheless, SSE actors in the country usually take the forms of (i) economic association; (ii) non-profit association; (iii) limited company. Please note that there is no separate statute for non-profit associations in Sweden, yielding a lot of freedom for these association to organise themselves to suit their purpose and activities. Moreover, not all legal entities falling into these categories are Social Enterprise.

Economic Association Act (1987)

It defines economic association as associations with an intention to make profit, and is often analogously applied to various types of associations that are not formally regulated. It is formed by a minimum number of three legal/natural persons (whose liability is limited to the capital invested in the association) and is represented by a board of directors.

Swedish case law

Among other things, this laws identifies the steps to set up a non-profit as a legal person. Essential to this process are the agreement of cooperation between two persons (legal or natural) and the appointment of a board. Although there is no requirement to do so, non-profits can register with the authorities in order to conduct economic activities.

Foundation Act (1994)

Introduced the legal basis for foundations. According to the law, there are four different kinds of foundations: (i) General Foundations; (ii) Fundraising foundations; (iii) Collective agreement foundations; (iv) pension or personnel foundations. They aim at the promotion of an objective on a long-term basis which can be met  by using the yield of the separated property to give cash donations to certain individuals or groups, or by becoming involved in business activity. The separated property has to keep the foundation for at least five/six years from its founding.  the liability of a foundation is limited to its assets.

Companies Act (2005)

This law regulates public and private LLCs. The article of association of an LLC must contain, among other things, the business objective and the share capital and must be public. Among shareholders, the most fundamental rule is the principle of equality of treatment, i.e., decisions and actions must be carried out in a manner that treats all the shareholders equally. Moreover, each shareholder is entitled to vote for all shares that he/she owns, unless otherwise prescribed in the articles of association. By this law, the main rule regarding decisions in matters other than elections is that they must be adopted by an absolute majority, while in the case of board members’ election the person with the most votes wins.

Income Tax Act (1999)

Among other things, this law enables foundations, non-profits and religious communities to receive favourable treatment if there work in pursue of public utility activities – i.e., promoting culture, environmental care, care of children, political activities, religious activities, healthcare, charitable work to those in need, education, scientific research, or other equivalent activities and to strengthen Swedish defence in connection with military or other authorities.

Financing and Support Measures

Income from sales in the case of non-profits with public benefit aims are exempted from taxation
Legal entities employing people with “reduced working ability” can benefit from grants from the Swedish Labour Market Agency aimed at covering a part of their salary costs. The size of the grant depends on the individuals’ estimated working capacity.
ESF plays a central role in Sweden

Key policy documents

Coming Soon

Funding Partners

Relevant Resources

Coming Soon

Relevant Research Experts

Chloé Le Coq

Professor Chloé Le Coq Sweden, France Chloe.LeCoq@hhs.se Universities & Institutions Stockholm School of Economics (SITE) Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas (CRED) Expertise & Research Industrial organization Behavioral economics Energy markets Anti-trust policy, Consumer financial behavior Social innovation Chloé Le Coq is Professor of Economics, Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas (CRED) and research fellow at the Stockholm School [...]

Marieke Huysentruyt

Assistant Professor Marieke Huysentruyt France, Sweden, Belgium huysentruyt@hec.fr Universities & Institutions HEC Paris SITE, Stockholm School of Economics Expertise & Research Strategies in markets for social goods Blended value creation Innovation Marieke Huysentruyt is Assistant Professor of Strategy and Business Policy at HEC Paris, affiliated researcher at SITE, Stockholm School of Economics and academic affiliate [...]

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Join Forum for Social Innovation Sweden in their events and activities

How can we solve complex societal challenges such as unemployment, segregation, and digital exclusion? One way is through social innovation – which means innovative methods, activities, and collaboration to improve people’s living conditions.

To inspire actors across sectors to use social innovation, as both a means as well as an aim in society, the Forum for Social Innovation Sweden creates and shares research-based facts, data, knowledge, but also stories and foresights on how to imagine a better future.

Get involved with Ideell Arena

Ideell Arena offers leaders in the nonprofit sector’s organisations unique meeting places, the opportunity to access the most current research, and support in the development work within their organisations.

Become a Partner of Reach for Change

Reach for Change is proud to be delivering our programs in close cooperation with a broad range of institutions, foundations and corporations. Our partnerships are strengthened by the different perspectives that partners bring, but are always underpinned by mutual values.