The recent study “New technologies and digitisation: opportunities and challenges for the social economy and social enterprises” by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) aims to benchmark diffuse initiatives and policies at the EU level as well as national level to promote successful approaches using digital technologies in social economy and social enterprises.

The study has analysed 26 social economy organisations using innovative digital technologies effectively across Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, and the UK. Through this selection of countries under investigation, the objective is to understand how they are working through the digitalisation process. To that end, the study seeks to reinforce the organisations e-skills and the uptake of new technologies in their entrepreneurial strategy, as well as discuss the opportunities and challenges they face in digitising their operations. Therefore, the study presents a collection of best practices of social economy organisations in the uptake, development, usage, and co-creation of digital tools and technologies. All research results are based on primary information and insights collected via personal interviews, workshops, and relevant literature.

As digital technologies portray an increasingly important role in our day to day tasks, the ability to connect and interact quickly and efficiently has become a crucial element, with digital skills becoming ever more essential for companies and citizens alike. Moreover, the social economy and social enterprises are called upon to make the most out of the possibilities that digitalisation creates, whilst fine-tuning economic growth with their social and environmental objectives. Therefore, attention should be directed to both the ways social economy actors could use and benefit from the functions that digitisation has to offer. However, budget constraints, digital skills shortages and technological gaps are clear barriers for the social economy to integrate new technologies into their implementation strategies. Essentially, all the abovementioned points are thoroughly addressed in the study, under the context of a series of case studies.

The full report can be found here.

Note: Original photo retrieved from the projects’ weblink. All rights reserved.