10th ETN Meeting, 19-20 March 2019, Berlin

10th ETN Meeting, 19-20 March 2019, Berlin


The 10th meeting of the ESF Transnational Thematic Network on Employment took place on 19th and 20th March 2019 in Berlin. The topic of the meeting was Socially Innovative Entrepreneurship, an umbrella term that captures how entrepreneurship can be socially innovative and represent a viable alternative to regular employment, in particular for disadvantaged groups such as young people, older workers, migrants or women (re)entering the labour market, among others. Emphasis was placed on how the ESF can promote socially innovative entrepreneurship in an effective manner.

The first day of the meeting was devoted to exploring the links between the concepts of regular entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship and inclusive entrepreneurship as well as social innovation. In his keynote address, Peter Ramsden (Freiss ltd) provided his insights on the crucial role played by public authorities to create an enabling framework where all people who want to can have access to entrepreneurship. The second keynote speaker, Josef Hochgerner (Centre for Social Innovation), addressed social innovation emphasising its experimental dimension.

Next, Anette Scoppetta, Thematic Expert of the Network, elaborated on the links between entrepreneurship and social innovation, laying the ground for joint reflection by ESF Managing Authorities on how such dimensions could be supported in more effective and innovative ways. Following this, Risto Raivio (DG EMPL) showed how the ESF currently supports social innovation, stressing the key role of transnationality to this aim.

Nathalie Wuiame, Expert on Gender for the TNs, introduced the gender dimension in socially innovative entrepreneurship and presented the first results of a questionnaire on how gender is addressed by the ESF in different MS. Next, a panel discussion looked at how the ESF should promote a more inclusive angle to social entrepreneurship in light of current challenges and gaps. The next presentations offered two examples of how social entrepreneurship for innovation is being applied on the ground: Social Impact Labs (Germany) and the CSR dimension of BNP Paribas Fortis (Belgium).   

On the second day, the TN offered updates and discussed the state of play of the LTU project and the paper on Labour Market Transitions in the context of the Future of Work after feedback received from TN members.

The rest of the day was devoted to group work. Participants offered their views on the topic of socially innovative entrepreneurship answering the following questions:

  • what is the state of play of policies and actions around socially innovative entrepreneurship in your country or region?
  • what is not yet covered and should be covered to support socially innovative entrepreneurship?
  • what are your recommendations to support socially innovative entrepreneurship at different policy levels?  

The network agreed to:

  • finalise the paper on Paper on Labour Market Transitions in the context of the Future of Work
  • continue promoting synergies between the work of the ETN and the LTU project

The next meeting of the Thematic Network will take in place in La Valletta (Malta) on the 14th and 15th of May and will address the topic of job crafting and job carving. In addition, topics and projects of interest to the ETN will be addressed at the final conference of the ESF Transnational Platform, which will take place in Brussels on 21st and 22nd of May 2019.  

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