Today, Europe’s leaders are discussing a $1,000 bn budget framework for the EU, and for the first time, there are budget lines for social entrepreneurship – although you may have to find them with a very large magnifying glass.
Social entrepreneurship and government have long had more than an arm’s length distance between them, and the feeling was mutual: the movement drew much initial energy from its bottom-up — and privately funded — approach that remains a contrast to many government-led efforts both in development aid and domestic social services.
Over the past decade, the relationship has been transformed. And if my own calendar is any indication, this transformation is reaching a tipping point in Europe. Within a few weeks, I am to attend meetings on a multi-year social entrepreneurship effort in Germany, a new social innovation strategy in France, and a new round of policies as part of the EU-wide Social Business Initiative.