This chapter describes the evolution of Italian social enterprises. It illustrates the research methodology and the general context of the analysis. It then presents the various types of Italian social enterprises, along with their key features, and analyses the quantitative information available for each type. In the 1970s, Italy experienced for the first time a growing rift between new, emerging needs and the public welfare system’s ability to cope. The focus on this type of enterprise has led over the years to the belief that social cooperatives are the only type of social enterprise that exists in Italy, or at least that they constitute the great majority of all Italian social enterprises. Social enterprises taking the form of foundations or religious institutions are the type of social enterprise with the highest average income per organisation. It appears that 55% of limited-company social enterprises are primarily engaged in education and training activities, with a particular focus on education and education-related services.