Work Integration Social Enterprises in Switzerland

Adam, Stefan and Aviles, Gregorio and Ferrari, Domenico and Amstutz, Jeremias and Crivelli, Luca and Cavedon, Enrico and Gafner, Anja and Greppi, Spartaco and Schmitz, Daniela and Wüthrich, Bernadette and Zoebeli, Daniel (2016) Work Integration Social Enterprises in Switzerland. Nonprofit Policy Forum, 7 (4). pp. 509-539. ISSN 2194-6035

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The article aims to present the Swiss landscape of work integration social enterprises (WISEs). The origins of SEs are rooted within three distinct social security regimes, i. e. disability insurance, unemployment insurance and social assistance. The debate around SE has a longer tradition in the French-speaking part of the country, while it seems more recent in the German-speaking area. The literature review presented in this article allowed for identifying at least five definitions of the WISE model emerging from Swiss civil society. The heterogeneity of their normative elements reflects different conceptions about the positioning of SE in the market, its resources mix, the integration goals and the wage models for the disadvantaged workers. This article draws on a recent empirical survey from which some key-figures concerning the size of the WISE sector have been estimated. Descriptive statistics on legal forms, profit allocation, target-groups, integration goals, remuneration models, economic sectors and the competitive nature of WISEs are provided. By means of a cluster analysis, four models of SE have been identified. The article concludes with a discussion of some of the major issues around the future development of the sector.

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