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Social entrepreneurship

Social enterprises seek to serve the community’s interest (social, societal, environ­mental objectives) rather than profit maximisation. They often have an inno­vative nature, through the goods or services they offer, and through the organi­sation or pro­duc­tion methods they resort to. They often employ society’s most fragile members (socially excluded persons). They thus contribute to social cohesion, employment and the reduction of inequalities.

The Commission wants to contribute to the creation of a favourable environment for the development of social business in Europe, and of the social economy at large.

I. Preparatory work leading to the adoption of the Social Business Initiative

IV. Other policy actions linked to social economy

Research projects financed by the European Commission:

  • BENISI – Building a European Network of Incubators for Social Innovation
  • CRESSI - CReating Economic Space for Social Innovation
  • EFESEIIS – Enabeling the Flourishing and Evolution of Social Entrepreneurship for Innovative and Inclusive Societies
  • ITSSOIN – Impact of the Third Sector as SOcial INnovation
  • SEFORIS – Social Enterprise as Force for More Inclusive and Innovative Societies
  • SI-DRIVE – Social Innovation: Driving Force of Social Change
  • SIMPACT – Boosting the Impact of Social Innovation in Europe through Economic Underpinnings
  • Third Sector Impact – The Contribution of the Third Sector to Europe's Socio-economic Development
  • TRANSITION – Transnational Network for Social Innovation Incubation

Status of the actions of the SBI

11 key actions listed in the SBI:

Key action 1:
Regulation on European Social Entrepreneurship Funds (EuSEF) (22.07.2013)
Key action 2:
European code of good conduct for microcredit provisionpdf Choose translations of the previous link 
Key action 3:
European financial instrument of ca. 90M € (EaSI)
Key action 4:
Investment priority for social enterprises in the Structural funds (adopted by the Commission 06.10.2011)
Common Strategic Framework (CSF - adopted by the Commission 14.03.2012)
Presentation at the event in Strasbourg (January 2014): watch the video | presentationpdf(105 KB) Choose translations of the previous link 
Key action 5:
A map of social enterprises and their eco-systems in Europe
Key action 6:
Data base of labels and certificationspdf(648 KB) Choose translations of the previous link 
Key action 7:
National and Regional Administrations: promotion of mutual learning and their capacity building: guide of social innovationpdf
Key action 8:
  1. Electronic data exchange platform for social investors and entrepreneurs - Social Innovation Europe platform
  2. Access to EU education-training programs
Key action 9:
  1. Simplification of the European Cooperative Regulation – cf. Report from the Commission 23.02.2012pdf Choose translations of the previous link 
  2. Proposal for a  regulation on the statute for a European Foundation (adopted by the Commission 08.02.2012)
  3. Study on the situation of mutual societies and their cross-border activitiespdf(2 MB) Choose translations of the previous link  (received by the Commission 12.10.2012)
Key action 10:
  1. Enhancement of the element of quality in awarding contracts in the context of the reform of public procurement(adopted by the Commission 20.12.2011)
  2. Public procurement - PPT European Commission Junepdf(223 KB) Choose translations of the previous link 
Key action 11:
Simplification of the implementation of rules concerning State aid to social and local services (adopted by the Commission 20.12.2011)
Commission Staff Working Document: Guide to the application of EU rules on state aid, public procurement and the internal market to SGEI, and in particular to social services of general interestpdf Choose translations of the previous link 
Presentation at the event in Strasbourg (January 2014): watch the video | presentationpdf(763 KB) Choose translations of the previous link 

Other actions mentioned in the SBI:

Overview: follow up of the Social Business Initiative