Find information and insights on social enterprise in our studies, surveys and reports

The following studies, commissioned by the British Council, provide an in-depth perspective on social enterprise in key regions and markets.

The State of Social Enterprise in Turkey

This survey reveals the exciting potential of social enterprise in Turkey, where the burgeoning sector is populated by young, purpose-driven businesses -- the majority of which are founded and managed by women – that are addressing social needs across a range of fields, notably in education, manufacturing and the creative industries. It also provides an overview of the policy context and growing ecosystem of support for social entrepreneurship.

Social Enterprise in Vietnam

This survey finds that interest in social enterprise is growing significantly in Vietnam, one of Asia’s most dynamic countries, among budding entrepreneurs, NGOs, policy makers, funders and academics. Most social enterprises are on a mission to create jobs. They provide support disadvantaged people and are nurturing spaces for women and young people to take on leadership roles.

Corporations, business and social trust

At a time when nationalism is rising and support for democratic values is declining, this paper considers the critical role that businesses and corporations play in building and undermining social trust. It was published as part of the Future of the Corporation programme led by the British Academy.. 

Activist to entrepreneur: the role of social enterprise in supporting women’s empowerment in Ghana

This report sets out to establish how well social enterprise addresses gender inequality and women’s empowerment in Ghana, which is one of the few countries in the world where the rates of female entrepreneurship exceed those of male entrepreneurship.

The State of Social Enterprise in Malaysia

The State of Social Enterprise in Malaysia provides a rich and useful overview of the size, scale, and scope of the social enterprise sector in Malaysia, which is growing rapidly, delivering impact for a range of beneficiaries, and attracting government support, but faces challenges in areas such as public awareness and access to funding.

The State of Social Enterprise in Indonesia

Social enterprise is growing rapidly in the world’s fourth most populous country, generating employment, supporting communities, and addressing inequalities. Among the survey’s many noteworthy findings are that there is gender parity in the leadership of social enterprises and that their top sector of business activity is the creative industries. 

Global City Challenges: the creative and social economy solution

Home to over half the world's population, cities produce 80 per cent of global GDP but also face myriad complex challenges. This report looks at how the creative and social economies can offer solutions to some of these challenges, spur innovation and help us overcome the challenges of tomorrow.

The State of Social Enterprises in Sri Lanka

This pioneering study finds that social enterprise is growing rapidly across Sri Lanka in sectors ranging from manufacturing to agriculture. Sri Lankan social enterprises are creating employment and leadership opportunities for young people and marginalised communities, working to support vulnerable children and adults, and empowering women and girls.

Greece Social and Solidarity Economy Report

Cooperatives, social enterprises and other SSE organisations are helping to tackle some of Greece’s most significant challenges, such as poverty and unemployment, and providing support for the elderly, people with disabilities and marginalised populations, this important survey finds.

ASEAN Social Enterprise Structuring Guide

Packed with practical advice, this guide is designed to help social entrepreneurs better understand the complexities of setting up a social enterprise in eight Southeast Asian countries. It covers the pros and cons of different legal forms, regulatory and tax obligations, registering with ministries, required permits and more.

The state of social enterprise in Kenya

In Kenya, where the youth unemployment rate is 25 per cent, 65 per cent of all social enterprises seek to create employment opportunities and the sector provides significant leadership opportunities for young people and women. Moreover, one in ten Kenyan social enterprise operates internationally. Download our survey for more findings and analysis.

Activist to entrepreneur: the role of social enterprise in supporting women’s empowerment in Pakistan

Social enterprise is playing a small but growing role in reducing gender inequality and supporting women’s empowerment in Pakistan, this report finds. In a country where women and girls face lack of opportunities, discrimination and violence, social enterprise is providing proportionally more leadership, employment and training opportunities for women than the mainstream economy. 

Activist to entrepreneur: the role of social enterprise in supporting women's empowerment in India

The report significantly enhances our knowledge of the role that social enterprise plays in empowering women and girls in India – notably by delivering training and creating jobs, by providing a source of funding for women's rights organisations, and by changing the power dynamic seen in other philanthropic models between the 'empowerer' and the 'empowered'.

Activist to entrepreneur: the role of social enterprise in supporting women's empowerment in the UK

How are UK social enterprises addressing gender inequality? And to what extent are women’s organisations in the UK establishing their own social businesses to support their work? These are just two of the questions addressed in this British Council report which explores enhanced ways of addressing and funding women’s empowerment and gender equality.   

The state of social enterprise in the Philippines

This landmark report finds that social enterprise is taking off in the Philippines where the number of social enterprise start-ups has tripled in the last decade and a new wave of young social entrepreneurs is emerging. In a country that faces entrenched challenges despite a surging economy, social enterprises are generating employment, alleviating poverty, empowering women and creating a significant economic impact.

Activist to entrepreneur: the role of social enterprise in supporting women's empowerment in the US

This report examines the role that social enterprise is playing in addressing gender inequality and women’s empowerment in the US, where women earn 65 cents for every dollar earned by a man and are chronically under-represented in positions of leadership. It is one of a series of reports on social enterprise and women’s empowerment which also focus on Brazil, India, Pakistan and the UK.

The state of social enterprise in Ethiopia

This survey finds that social enterprise is experiencing dynamic growth in Ethiopia, where 75 per cent of social enterprises were established since 2010 and most expect to expand in coming years. Produced as part of a project with the EU, the survey indicates that the sector is providing significant employment and leadership opportunities for young people and women in Africa’s second most populous country. 

Social entrepreneurship in education: empowering the next generation to address society’s needs

This think piece considers how social entrepreneurship could be integrated into education to help equip young people with the skills and innovative mindset to address the challenges they will face in a rapidly changing world. It draws on the views of leaders in education and social enterprise, offers examples of social enterprise education in the UK, Mexico and Greece, and aims to serve as a platform for discussion and debate.

Activist to entrepreneur: the role of social enterprise in supporting women’s empowerment

Consisting of one global report and six country-specific studies, this research sheds light on the growing role that social enterprise plays in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment – notably as a means of delivering training and creating jobs for women; as a way of addressing entrenched inequalities; and as a source of funding for women’s rights organisations.  

Teaching resource on social enterprise and the SDGs

Download our free teaching resource offering six lesson plans on social enterprise and the Sustainable Development Goals for students aged 7-14. The lessons help students to explore the needs in your community and develop a business plan for their very own social enterprise, thus developing skills such as citizenship, critical thinking and creativity. 

The state of social enterprise in Bangladesh, Ghana, India and Pakistan

This landmark survey provides a rich and fascinating trove of data on social enterprises in Bangladesh, Ghana, India and Pakistan, including about their operations, turnover, impact, beneficiaries, challenges and number. It offers important quantitative information that will help to fill our knowledge gap about social enterprise in countries that together comprise a fifth of humanity. 

Social enterprise landscape in Pakistan

This study provides an overview of Pakistan’s emerging but rapidly growing social enterprise sector. It reviews the policy and regulatory environment in which social enterprises operate, their approaches to addressing needs, and the key barriers to and drivers for their growth. It also offers suggestions on how various stakeholders could build a more supportive framework for the sector. 


This report surveys government activity and policies that influence social enterprises in Bangladesh and offers recommendations on building a more supportive environment for the sector, notably in the areas of finance, skills development, and awareness raising. 

Social enterprise and higher education: 12 country and territory reports

The studies examine the benefits and challenges of partnership between higher education institutions and social enterprises in 12 countries and territories. They complement Social enterprise in a global context: the role of higher education institutions, our global report that analysed data from all 12 of these reports.

Social Enterprise in a Global Context: the role of Higher Education Institutions

This is the first major international study to examine how and why so many universities and other higher education institutions around the world are collaborating and engaging with social enterprises. 

Social Enterprise Policy Landscape in India

India has seen a rapid expansion of social enterprise activity in the past decade but this has occurred with little government support. This study with ODI and Social Enterprise UK outlines practical steps and priority areas for engagement by the social enterprise sector with India’s state and national governments.  

Social Enterprise in the UK

This handbook provides a comprehensive introduction to the UK’s thriving social enterprise sector. Packed with illuminating examples and useful links, this rich resource covers everything from ownership structures to impact measurement and from funding mechanisms to government support.  General readers and insiders alike will find it authoritative, engaging and clear. 

Think Global Trade Social - SEUK and British Council report 

Our survey with Social Enterprise UK and the World Bank (and a foreword by Prof Muhammad Yunus), explains why trade, investment and business activity are our most powerful drivers of economic and social change and why social enterprise must play an important role if we are to reduce inequality and make progress on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which set the world’s development agenda to 2030.

A Review of Social Enterprise Activity in the Philippines

Social enterprise is vibrant and growing in the Philippines and seems likely to have much wider impact in coming years. Find out more in this report.

Social Enterprise Landscape in Ghana

Find out why opportunities abound for social enterprise in Ghana by downloading and reading this engaging report

Exporting Social Enterprise: A survey of overseas trade by UK social enterprises

The British Council and Social Enterprise UK have teamed up to conduct the first study in the UK to specifically examine overseas trade and franchising by UK social enterprises.

What will social enterprise look like in Europe by 2020?

This study suggests that social enterprise will achieve significant scale across Europe, influencing government, charities and for-profit businesses. Download to read the full report.

Social enterprise in Vietnam

What will social enterprise look like in Vietnam over the next few years? Download to read the full report.

Social enterprise in Morocco

What is the genesis of social enterprise in Morocco? Download to read the full report.

Social enterprise in Burma

Will social enterprise in Burma be sustainable in the future? Download to read the full report.