University of Liège

Center for Social Economy, HEC Liège



The Centre for Social Economy (CES) was founded in the early 90s by prof. Jacques Defounry and forming part of HEC Management School (University of Liege). It develops research in the areas of social enterprise/entrepreneurship and the social profit economy, mainly from the perspectives of economics, management and organization theory, sociology and law. These research projects are led by 4 Professors, 10 PhD students and 2 post-doc researchers from Belgium and abroad.

Besides research, the Centre for Social Economy organizes teaching programs in the area of social entrepreneurship and the social profit economy at the University of Liege and elsewhere, for Bachelor, Master and Doctoral students, as well as for practitioners in the area. At the Master’s level, since 2010, the “Social Enterprise Management” orientation trains some twenty-five students per year during the two years of the Master in Management Sciences. Concerning practitioners, an executive education program was started in 2012 for managers and entrepreneurs in the field. In connection with this specific project, the CES has for several years developed a research and teaching experience in the following fields: impact investing, social impact assessment, financing mix of social enterprises, social business models.

Finally, the CES can rely on the methodological and technical expertise in e-learning developed by IFRES, a specific pedagogical department of the University of Liege which helps teachers to develop MOOCs.

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