Social enterprise (SE) in Ireland takes on many forms across a spectrum from local community-based entities to large businesses trading internationally. The chapter discusses the influence of the US and European/EMES academic traditions, and of European Union and national policy perspectives, since the early 1990s, on Irish academic and policy discourse, respectively. While academic studies, drawing on a variety of sources, have yet to agree on the boundaries of the social economy or social enterprise, policy approaches have evolved considerably. It then argues that the labour-market integration approach to the development of the Irish social economy, adopted by successive Irish governments in recent decades, has shaped the sector and contributed to the emergence of one dominant SE type, namely the WISE. It also presents a brief overview of the typical Irish work-integration social enterprise operational model and the challenges these enterprises face in the context of wider developments in the SE landscape.