EMES is a research network of established university research centres and individual researchers whose goal has been so far to gradually build up a European corpus of theoretical and empirical knowledge, pluralistic in disciplines and methodologies, around our "SE" concepts: social enterprise, social entrepreneurship, social economy and solidarity economy.
EMES has existed since 1996, when an international group of scholars formed a research network that had been sponsored by the European Union. Having reached an unusual level of mutual understanding, trust and a common perspective of working together, a community of researchers sprang off from this working experience.
Formally established as a non-profit association (ASBL under Belgian law) in 2002 and named after its first research programme, on "the emergence of social enterprises in Europe” (1996-2000), EMES was originally composed of European university research centres and individual researchers. After many years of collaborative research and projects jointly conducted with researchers from other regions, EMES has decided in 2013 to open its membership to researchers from around the world.