Legal frameworks available for social enterprise and public policies tailored for their promotion appear to have achieved very different levels of development and to be designed in very different ways across countries. Many social enterprises have their roots in a transformation of traditional solidarity patterns that results in a general tendency to externalise social services outside the familial sphere and/or to reduce the scope of public solidarity. The social mission of many Asian social enterprises thus appears to be more deeply rooted in poverty alleviation than that of their counterparts in Western societies, where a larger share of social enterprises pursues various societal goals, linked to the promotion of sustainable development, organic and local food, energy transition, and the circular economy. The issue of reliance on a dominant source of funding also raises the question of social enterprises’ autonomy. The social enterprise’s autonomy and legitimacy is questioned when the enterprise is faced with priorities set up through “external” decision-making processes.