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Portugal faces numerous pressures in society with more than 18.2% of the population living below the national poverty line before social transfers, and 35% of young people are unemployed, which underlines the imperative need for social innovation. Thus, despite the severe crisis that the country is undergoing, the Portuguese social economy is benefiting from an unprecedented development.

Social Innovation in Portugal is characterised by a number of up and coming projects. They are characterised by many exchanges and collaborations and a large variety of actors (public institutions, associations, companies, foundations, patrons, educators etc). It is striking to see that the Portuguese social innovation structures are constantly changing. In 2013, the Portuguese Parliament voted a Basic Law for Social Economy, opening new horizons to a sector that had been long waiting change.

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