The current paper is aimed at identifying the social enterprises according to EMES criteria by investigating the social economy actors in Romania. As an emerging field of study, social entrepreneurship and social enterprise have captured the attention of both practitioners from Europe and North America, and in recent years on other continents. In Romania, very little research has been conducted into the field, mostly as part of academic research papers from doctoral study students or masters, both from Romania and abroad. In Europe, several studies have been conducted among member state of the European Union, to bring to light this new emerging field.. Investigations in regard to social entrepreneurship in Europe have revealed the existence of this field among social economy actors, in the form of social enterprise, namely work integration social enterprises and social cooperatives. So far, Romania has not been included in them This papers tries to fill the gap of knowledge on this phenomena, by exploring, from a European perspective, the actors of social entrepreneurship in Romania. The methodology used was an analysis of secondary data in the form of legal documents (laws), reports of the social economy sector and scholarly articles related to social entrepreneurship in Romania. The assessment instrument is the EMES set of economic and social criteria that the social enterprises need to meet. Also, parallels have been made with the entities of the same nature in the European Union. The paper concludes on the state of social enterprise in Romania, with an underline on what its and implications for their further study. As main finding, two types of organizations fit best with the EMES criteria, authorized protected units and companies set up by associations and foundations. Also, further developments are expected as Romania is preparing for a law defining the social enterprise and social economy. The main implications of this research is drawing the lines, in the current state of the social economy who are the actors that can best fit with the concept of social enterprise in Romania. Our main contribution to the study of social entrepreneurship is to investigate what European scholars have done with most of the existing member state countries. Using the EMES criteria in the social economy sector in Romania has yet to have been done till this point
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