This chapter reviews the main historical roots that have led to the emergence of a diversity of models related to social enterprise and the social economy in Belgium. It reviews the legal recognition of the concept and its evolution over time. It then sketches how the main SE models, as observed internationally, find resonance in the Belgian context, and what these models imply in terms of building statistics. Finally, the conclusion sketches some of the main challenges lying ahead for social enterprises and their supporters in the Belgian context. The SE phenomenon in Belgium has been fed by various traditions: the associative, cooperative and mutual traditions, often highlighted as the backbone of the "social economy"; the support by public authorities in the context of specific public policies; the support of philanthropic actors through donations and “social investment”; and the inputs of a more business-oriented approach.