The policy brief outlines ways in which public policies can provide an enabling ecosystem for social enterprises to fulfil their potential to maximise impact. Additionally, this note highlights the increasing influence and ability of social enterprises to meet and tackle social and economic challenges. It provides an in-depth overview on what social enterprises are, their workings and structure, how social enterprises are formed and the barriers to their formation, taking into account the legal and regulatory frameworks, financial resources, market access, business support and development services, and training and research. This policy brief shows that working with social enterprises can result in both short and long-term gains for public budgets through reduced public expenditure and increased tax revenues compared with other methods. Policies should focus on promoting social entrepreneurship, building enabling legal, regulatory and fiscal frameworks, providing sustainable finance, offering business development services and support structures, supporting access to markets and supporting further research into the sector.