For the first time, after 5 years of constant growth, social enterprises have registered a decline. Although the sector remains “vital and lively”, this first drop should be recorded. This is the synthesis that Laura Bongiovanni, president of the Isnet Association that aims to promote the development of the social economy in Italy, did during the presentation in Rome of the XIIth edition of the Isnet Observatory on social enterprise.
“There are low levels of awareness of the impact of new technologies, with the exception of the digitalisation of processes,” says Bongiovanni, “on the knowledge of new levels of funding, the majority of those interviewed who form a panel composed of 500 companies and representative of companies social services in Italy, responds negatively ».
Francesco Rea, a researcher at the Italian Institute of Technology, commented on this aspect, according to which “social enterprises do not often have awareness of the technologies used, the desire to innovate exists but there is little awareness of how to do”.
All the indicators related to this area are growing (+ 13.7% of companies that have developed new products and services equal to 52.2% of reports; + 8.3% that have identified new geographical areas in which to operate equal to 32, 3% reports).
At the same time, 94% of the panel stated that the innovation objectives had not been fully achieved, and that “more could have been done”. The main obstacles concern a poor response of the public and private market (43.6%, + 10% compared to last year) and the presence of internal resistance to change (34%, + 12.6% compared to 2017). A trend that reveals a certain dynamism of social enterprise, which however, is not always accompanied by a full capacity to seize opportunities.
On this aspect, the Isnet Observatory has developed, in partnership with Banca Etica, for the second consecutive year, the in-depth tools for the development of social enterprises with a focus, as we said, on social enterprise 4.0, to know the impact of new technologies on social enterprises.