Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Social entrepreneurs: Have your say!

Social entrepreneurs: Have your say!
Published on: 09/09/2015
Social Entrepreneurs: Have your say! was a large two-day interactive event on social entrepreneurship and social economy in Europe.
Event date: 16/01/2014 to 17/01/2014
Organiser: Directorate-General for Internal Market and Services

The European Commission, in conjunction with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the City of Strasbourg, organised this event because of the importance of the social economy to the European economy.

The social economy represents some 10% of European GDP and social entrepreneurs aim to have a positive impact on society, for example, by providing jobs for disadvantaged groups and promoting their social inclusion. But social entrepreneurs face enormous challenges.

The aims of the event were to:

  • Take stock of the achievements and implementation of the Social Business Initiative of October 2011 (see IP/11/1238 and MEMO/11/735).
  • Identify future priorities for action.
  • Engage stakeholders in an innovative and participative environment to shape the European agenda for the next 3-5 years.
  • Strengthen stakeholder networks to support the emergence and scaling-up of initiatives and best practices.
  • Create more ownership and awareness among institutional actors.

The event used a collaborative, participatory approach where participants drove the issues to be debated and identified the way forward for the sector.

Participants included social entrepreneurs, academics, policy makers, financing providers and social activists.

More about Social Entrepreneurs: Have your say!

Final declaration

To conclude the event, a final declaration summarising the outcome of the discussions was adopted. It represents the views of various stakeholders from the social enterprise sector and not those of the European institutions

We also invite you to read and sign the Belgrade Declaration on the development of social entrepreneurship in the region of the Western Balkans and Turkey.

Watch the webstream or video of the event or see the visual summary pdf (3 MB) that was created to capture highlights of the discussions.