This report of the Commission Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship (GECES) represents a call for action issued to the European Commission, Member States and social enterprises organisations.
It argues for a European Action Plan for the Social Economy and Social Enterprises, which would provide new impetus to promote an enabling environment for social enterprises and the social economy to flourish, building on their core values such as democratic governance, social impact, innovation, profit reinvestment or the central place given to the human in the economy. Thus enabled, social enterprises and the social economy will have an even greater impact in addressing the challenges highlighted above and help to create a more socially equitable society in Europe.
Download Social enterprises and the social economy going forward [Executive Summary and Recommendations]
In accordance with the mandate given to GECES, the recommendations mainly focus on social enterprises. However in many cases, recommendations are relevant to social economy organisations more broadly.
The report proposes a series of key recommendations for policy-makers to support the development of social enterprises and the social economy as a driver of inclusive and impactful economic growth. The report is structured according to four key thematic areas:
- Ways to effectively increase the visibility and recognition of social enterprises, and to promote a better understanding of what social enterprise means.
- The development of a European economic environment that enables the social economy and social enterprises to access finance.
- Legal and regulatory frameworks to encourage the creation and development of the social economy and social enterprises.
- Measures to help the social economy and social enterprises reach their potential as key drivers of equitable and socially-inclusive economic growth.
Table of Contents
A CALL FOR ACTION
A crucial field for the future of the European Union
The contribution of the social economy and social enterprises
Stepping stones for the social economy and social enterprises
Working methods, goals and themes addressed
CHAPTER 1: TOWARDS INCREASED VISIBILITY, RECOGNITION AND IDENTITY
Developing a sharper picture and stronger messages
Nurturing a more assertive social enterprise community
Supporting a stronger place for social enterprises in public policies and actions at all levels
CHAPTER 2: IMPROVING ACCESS TO FUNDING
Improving capacity building to help social enterprises find, attract and communicate with funders
Unlocking and attracting more funding that is better suited to social enterprises
Putting in place mechanisms and infrastructure that encourage more public funding and mobilise private funding
CHAPTER 3: IMPROVING THE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT
Towards a legal framework for social enterprises
Taking full advantage of internal market opportunities: a specific focus on mutuals and cooperatives
Social enterprises and the new public procurement rules
On State aid issues
CHAPTER 4: DRIVING INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH
Strengthening knowledge and impact of social enterprises and their support mechanisms globally
Fostering cooperation and the active involvement of the EU in international initiatives for social enterprises
Strengthening the role of social enterprises in EU external policy
Annex 1: Participants in the Expert Group
Annex 2: On the concept of social enterprise in Europe
Annex 3: EU-level research organisations studying social enterprises and the social economy
Annex 4: EU-level networks and organisations supporting and representing social enterprises
Annex 5: Improving access to funding: additional information on key specific recommendations and examples
Annex 6: On legal issues: additional information on key specific recommendations
Annex 7: External relations: additional information on key specific recommendations and examples
SOURCE: European Commission