The 12th meeting of the ESF Transnational Platform Thematic Network on Social Economy took place in Warsaw on 13-14 June 2019. The aim of the meeting was threefold:
The first theme was the support of the Social Economy (SE) ecosystem in different Member States (Czechia, Poland, Portugal) from the perspective of the ESF beneficiaries, intermediate bodies and social enterprises.
Secondly, there were presentations and discussion on the innovative pathways of financing social activities using ESF. The cases included social innovation incubators, Social Impact Bonds, Social Venture Capital and a Social Innovation Fund.
The third aim was to assess the activities and impact of the Social Economy Network from 2015 until 2019 and make some recommendations for the future.
The meeting included a study visit (and a dinner) at the social enterprise run by blind people in Warsaw.
Learning and results
- Start of the new programming period is a great opportunity to innovate and experiment (like Portugal did with its Social Innovation Initiative before the start of the previous period), thus also a chance for social economy sector;
- Flexibility and simplification in the way of managing the funds enhances the opportunity for the social economy and social enterprises to be more active in ESF activities;
- Establishing financial instruments with ESF is possible and timely; once up and running they can have great results;
- There is a strong will and need to continue transnational networking for social economy stakeholders.
- Member States show support for the idea of writing an open letter to the EC about importance of continuing with specific network for social economy;
- There is a possibility of self-organising a meeting in Czechia in November/December 2019 on local development and social economy.