We are the alliance and network of social enterprises in Finland.
Briefly in English
ARVO – the Finnish Association of Social Enterprises
The Finnish Association of Social Enterprises, ARVO, has turned a new page in the history of social entrepreneurship in Finland since its founding in 2014. ARVO is a membership-based, not-for-profit association and an active network of social enterprises and other impact actors in Finland. In 2021 ARVO has over 70 members.
ARVO is the leading advocacy organization promoting the interests of social enterprises in Finland. The mission of ARVO is to foster ethically and economically sustainable entrepreneurship. According to our vision ARVO will be a recognized force and engine of the growing social entrepreneurship in Finnish business. ARVO also promotes visibility and reputation of the social and other value-driven enterprises.
ARVO defines a social enterprise as privately owned business; the primary aim of such business is, however, to promote social/societal objectives and it uses its profits to implement the activities that are in accordance with these societal objectives.
Criteria for a social enterprise that can be a member of ARVO is:
- The clearly indicated primary objective of the business is to promote a societal objective: social, health/well-being, ecological, employment, arts, culture etc.
- The enterprise operates on the market and the majority of their income comes from sales of services/goods.
- The governance of the enterprise is independent from public sector (independent management and operational activities).
- The enterprise uses its profits primarily to promote societal objective(s) or to further develop the enterprise.
- The operations of the enterprise are based on ethical principles and Code of Conduct; it is transparent and in accordance with good governance.
ARVO influences legislation by coordinating the statements of Finnish social enterprises and by promoting impact driven public procurement. ARVO enhances the reputation of the social enterprises, leads the discussion on the topic and promotes relevant research together with the academic community.
During recent years we have seen a shift towards more responsible and sustainable business. Large corporates have started to talk about responsibility and the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDG) in increasing amounts. The consumers are more and more aware of pressing global issues such as climate change and human rights and have become interested in the responsibility of the products and services they buy. ARVO sees this as a momentum for social enterprises, that tend to be the most responsible businesses on the field. The future will show if the number of new social enterprises and the success of the existing ones will see a significant increase.