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€60m ESF plan for Greek social economy 28 May 2013

Posted by cooperatoby in social economy, Social enterprise.
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The independent Expert Steering Committee appointed by the EC Employment DG and the Greek Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Welfare has published its “Outline Strategy and Priorities for Action to develop the Social Economy and Social Entrepreneurship in Greece”.

The strategy, which has a €60m ESF budget earmarked for it, has 4 axes:
• Create an enabling ecosystem for the social economy
• Direct financial support to start a social enterprise
• Access to finance to consolidate and scale social enterprises
• Good governance and public sector capacity building

It is an ambitious goal. As the committee admits: “Smart public support will be needed to develop an ecosystem for the social economy and social entrepreneurship in Greece, capable of nurturing social enterprises that generate a social impact, and to overcome the barriers to social economy development in Greece resulting from a fragmentation of efforts and lack of critical mass, low levels of skills and capacity, the absence of role models and champions, and the difficult access to finance.”

The committee included Ariane Rodert (EESC), Gerhard Bräunling (ex- EMPL), Bruno Dunkel (SOFICATRA), Paul Cheng (Social Investment Taskforce) and Jean Paul Borello (Ashoka).

The actions proposed include:
• Axis 1: An enabling ecosystem for the social economy: fora, pacts, a national competence centre, regional support centres, an observatory, and a framework for access to public markets

• Axis 2: Direct financial support for starting and developing a social enterprise: pre-start grants/microloans with mentoring, grants/loans to invest in capital of co-operatives (on the JEREMIE ESF Lombardy model)

• Axis 3: Access to finance to consolidate and scale social enterprises – set up a social investment taskforce to investigate setting up a wholesale fund

• Axis 4: Good governance and public sector capacity building – upgrading administrative systems to permit an integrated strategic approach; a matching system for the cross-border supply and demand of know-how for solidarity actions

The plan is published in Greek at http://www.keko.gr/en/Pages/NewsFS.aspx?item=76 although as of July 2013 the English version seems to have gone offline.

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