Social Enterprise in China
This chapter aims to somehow help to fill the research gap and to shed light on the new phenomenon of social enterprises in China especially by focusing on the specific socio-economic context of the social welfare regime transformation during China’s transition to a market economy. Social enterprise was a little-known notion in China until 2004, when theories developed abroad began to be increasingly introduced in the country through a series of forums, symposia and conferences. The focus of the reform was the decentralisation of service provision; this was achieved by mobilising resources from local governments and communities and establishing a multi-level and multi-pillar system of welfare institutions. As non-profit entities established by civilian organisations and individuals using non-state resources, civilian-run non-enterprise units play an essential role in delivering diverse types of social welfare services. The development of the non-profit sector in China has long been handicapped by financial constraints as well.