Work Integration and Social Enterprises

Abstract - EN

The main objective of Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISE) is to integrate those with intellectual or physical disabilities and other disadvantaged groups, including the long-term unemployed, back into the labour market and society through a productive activity. The historic evolution of the WISE sector highlights the ways in which the organizational model has been adapted in response to shifting social constructions about appropriate levels of integration and norms about employment for disadvantaged groups, as well as the changing nature of jobs in the entry-level labour market. Based on these different forms of public recognition, several types of WISEs emerged based on how workers are integrated into the workplace and/or mainstream labour markets. WISEs are present in all regions of the world and across many social enterprise models. They are a common form of social enterprise, and one that continues to evolve, taking different shapes across alternative policy regimes.