The purpose of social enterprises is to create jobs in particular for the disabled and long-term unemployed.
Social enterprises are no different from other companies, as companies. They produce goods and services for the market and try to make a profit, the same as any other business. A social enterprise can operate in any sector or line of business. It pays all its employees a salary under a collective bargaining agreement and it always has an entry in the Finnish Trade Register.
The difference form other companies lies in the fact that at least 30% of the employees in a social enterprise are disabled or all are disabled or previously unemployed in the long term. In addition, the company must have an entry in the register of social enterprises held by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy. Only a company with an entry in this register can use the name and business ID of a social enterprise in its business operations and marketing.
The Act on Social Enterprises (1351/2003) entered into force at the beginning of 2004.