Purpose – This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the understanding of politicians about social entrepreneurship and its ecosystem. These findings are contrasted with the needs and wishes of social entrepreneurs.
Design/methodology/approach – The research used a qualitative research approach. We conducted in-depths interviews with entrepreneurs, politicians, and high-level responsible administrators responsible persons of eight European countries. Data analysis covers pattern matching and case comparison.
Findings – The findings revealed that the politicians surveyed had a lack of awareness of social entrepreneurship in many countries. There is a clear mismatch of the reported needs and wishes of interviewed social entrepreneurs and the statements from the politicians.
Originality/value – This research demonstrates the mismatch of the needs of social entrepreneurs and the awareness of politicians.