Review municipalities social enterprises

Launching a review of cross-sector partnerships in the Baltic region

March 7, 2018 - News

Together with partners in Latvia and Belarus, we have published an analytical review of existing and possible cooperation and partnerships between social enterprises and municipalities in Latvia, Belarus and Sweden. We’ve had the opportunity to explore our respective countries and learn from each other in order to support a growing social entrepreneurship sector in the Baltic region.

We believe that social entrepreneurship is an effective tool for solving social problems, and it’s a rapidly growing sector in Europe. Even though it is still a relatively new concept in the Baltic States, Scandinavia and Belarus, each year there are more and more social enterprises tackling a multitude of social problems and challenges, offering a diverse range of solutions. At the same time we are seeing an increased interest from other sectors, which is subsequently leading to the development of cross-sector partnerships. As part of our work with our partners from Latvia and Belarus we have in particular explored the issue of social enterprise and municipality partnership, cooperation and synergy, and the aim with the publication is to present our findings in a practical and solution oriented way.

Finding the common ground

Creating meaningful, productive and long-lasting partnerships and cooperation models with local municipalities is both a challenge and an opportunity. Since the social issues, problems and challenges that social enterprises and municipalities are attempting to tackle are in many cases similar or the same, it would seem only logical that social enterprises and municipalities could and should be allies and partners in their work. In reality, however, it is not that simple – social enterprises and municipalities often struggle to find common ground, and the road to an effective partnership turns out to be more difficult and time consuming than anticipated.

We have reviewed the ecosystem in our respective countries and have also included case studies to illustrate how social enterprises and municipalities work together in each country, highlighting both positive and challenging aspects, and drawing on lessons learned from people who have been involved in creating these partnerships.

The full review can be found here and if you’ve got any comments, questions or further discussion points to discuss then feel free to get in touch with our Executive Director Nicklas Wallberg at



Nordic Council of Ministers

This review has been produced with financial support from the Nordic Council of Ministers. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the coordinators of this project and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Nordic Council of Ministers.