YEAR 2019 N.º 2

ISSN 2182-9845

Social entrepreneurship: legislative contributions

Deolinda Meira / Maria Elisabete Ramos


Social Economy; Context Costs; cooperatives; Manager Professionalization; Transparency; Funding.


This study evaluates whether the legal ecosystem related to the incorporation of cooperatives and IPSS, their governance models, the professionalization of their managers, and the transparency and access to funding favor or inhibit social entrepreneurship. The new rules on the incorporation of cooperatives and the provision of three models of management and supervision facilitate the development of social entrepreneurship. Investor members promote the diversification of cooperative funding sources. The Portuguese legal environment presents weaknesses in the professionalization of cooperative managers and in the transparency of IPSS. The “Portugal Inovação Social” Program, crowdfunding and social entrepreneurship funds are innovative ways of investing in social entrepreneurship. However, the regulatory framework of crowdfunding and social entrepreneurship funds suffers from some weaknesses that may inhibit the development of these instruments.

Table of contents

1. Background
2. Social Entrepreneurship, cooperatives and IPSS
2.1. Incorporation of cooperatives and IPSS
2.2. Governance of cooperatives and IPSS
3. Manager professionalization and transparency
3.1. Absence of a common system
3.2. Professionalization of managers
3.3. Professionalization of managers and remuneration
3.4. Transparency
3.5. Transparency in cooperatives
3.6. Transparency in IPSS
4. Funding the social entrepreneurs: main initiatives
4.1. Social Entrepreneurship and access to financing
4.2. The pioneering nature of the Portugal Social Innovation initiative
4.3. Crowdfunding and Social Entrepreneurship
4.4. Social Entrepreneurship funds
5. Conclusions