Gianluca Salvatori, Euricse Secretary General, has been appointed member of a new expert group on “Social Economy and Social Enterprise” set up by the European Commission’s Social Business Initiative (SBI). The purpose of this new group will be to discuss and agree on developing and strengthening activities related to the development of the potential of the social economy and social enterprises, aiming to promote innovation and positive impact on the economy and society at large. The expert group’s actions will focus on 5 pillars: access to finance, access to markets, better framework conditions, new technologies and social innovation, as well as the development of an international dimension.
The Social Business Initiative (SBI), launched in 2011, identified three areas of action to make a real difference and improve the situation on the ground for social enterprises: improve access to finance; give more visibility to social enterprises; optimise the legal environment. Since then, a lot has been achieved. The EU institutions have delivered in all three areas. The event “Social Entrepreneurs – Have your Say!” in Strasbourg on January 16/17 2014 provided the platform both to take stock of the achievements so far and to identify useful actions for the future.
The SBI also named the group ‘Groupe d’experts de la Commission sur l’entrepreneuriat social’ (GECES). It was set up for 6 years and included representatives from EU countries, local authorities, social entrepreneurs’ organisations, the banking and finance sector, as well as the academic and university sector. International organisations and third countries were represented as observers.
One result of the GECES’s work is a report on social enterprises and the social economy going forward on 14 October 2016, giving input to the Commission’s communication on the start-up and scale-up initiative. The Communication also announced further actions focusing on 5 pillars: access to finance, access to markets, better framework conditions, new technologies and social innovation, as well as the development of an international dimension. To help the Commission implement these 5 pillars a new expert group has been established and Gianluca Salvatori will take part in it.
The first meeting of the expert group is to take place in Brussels, in October.