ENSIE represents national and regional networks of Work Integration Social Enterprises, also known with the acronym WISEs. The three identifying principles of WISEs are:
1. Enterprises whose social objective is the social integration and citizenship:
Their fundamental and initial objective is the social and professional integration of individuals who through their exclusion and their relegation to a marginal role in society have fallen victim to increasing social and professional handicaps. The work integration social enterprises continue to play an ongoing role in the social and professional requalification training that restores to individuals at risk, individuals that are vulnerable and have become marginal, the status of gainfully employed workers. They offer such individuals the opportunity to prepare themselves for their integration into the labour force and to gain access to employment and the training to acquire needed skills.
2. Enterprises at the core of the economic system:
In their drive towards their social objectives, the work integration social enterprises have decided to carry on their activities at the very core of what is most frequently a major factor in the phenomenon of exclusion: the economic system. Faced with concrete situations and their inherent pressures, all of the actors involved in work integration social enterprises are forced to overcome the challenges of productivity and, by this fact, of integration. This aspect of integration in a concrete economic context that is subjected to market demand constitutes an effective instrument for the individual and collective upgrading of excluded and marginal persons. This very position induces an obligation towards continuous innovation impacting on the very core of the enterprise.
3. Enterprises with a strong pedagogical dimension:
The work integration social enterprises initiate educational programs designed on the basis of existing potential within the enterprise.
- Programs of socialization based, on the one hand, on the rights and privileges of the employed persons and, on the other hand, on the human entrepreneurial community.
- Programs designed for professional training within a concrete production environment.
- Programs covering the scope for integration based, on the one hand, on the necessity for dealing with problems and, on the other hand, on the management of integration at the workplace or place of production.
- Programs of citizenship based on information and the training of the role of the employed individuals within the activity and the administration of the enterprise and on the practice of democratic economy.