WHAT ARE SOCIAL ENTERPRISES?
In addition to their other economical activities, social enterprises work to create jobs for disadvantaged individuals. They actively develop the regional economy and improve the living conditions of human beings.
Social firms, which are one form of social enterprise, create special jobs for individuals with disabilities. They offer regular employment contracts and pay their employees at standard regional or pay scale wages. This gives their employees the opportunity to live a self-determined life free of public support.
The individuals who run social firms carry full entrepreneurial responsibility. The companies are not subsidised in any way, but are compensated for possible losses incurred - like all businesses on the common labour market - as specified by Social Security Codes III and IX for the employment of especially disadvantaged groups.
Social firms have existed in Germany since 1976. Today approximately 400 social firms exist, providing 12,000 jobs nation-wide. Of these, 60 businesses are located in North Rhine-Westphalia. In European countries outside of Germany, these special members of the common labour market currently provide approx. 50,000 jobs.