Poverty and social exclusion are nowadays widely debated phenomena as they present highly threatening consequences for the wellbeing of humanity, making it unable to reach adequate living standards and to fully exercise social rights. To alleviate imbalances, adequate programs need to be put into place and for this process to be efficient, coherence and commitment must constitute elementary values to advance social welfare. Social enterprises can also contribute with their value creating potential to the fostering of a sustainable society that places a high emphasis on the defense of vulnerable groups and offers them an equitable treatment. The present paper firstly aims to illustrate conceptual elements referring to poverty, social exclusion and the social protection of marginalized groups. Secondly, the study is complemented by a research on Romanian social enterprises’ perspective (associations, foundations and sheltered units) concerning social threats and the defense of less favored individuals, undertaken through a questionnaire-based survey. The research unveils the social enterprises’ belief that the Romanian social field needs substantial attention from policymakers and that social protection services can aid them in gaining social privileges more adequately.
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