Project status: on-going
The availability of financial resources is often held to be one of the fundamental conditions for launching a new season of development for cooperatives and social enterprises. Particularly in regards to the latter category, debate has increased greatly in recent years, thanks in part to documents like the European Commission’s Social Business Initiative (COM2011 682) and other policy initiatives that have led to an increase in the number of actors – mostly from the private sector – who seem interested in investing in initiatives “with a high social impact”.
This research project first wants to interpret the on-going evolution in the social finance sector and emerging scenarios, reconstructing the existing supply of economic resources and support and reflecting on possible new instruments, including by surveying an aspect as crucial as it is undervalued: the real demand for funding for development expressed by social enterprises. This will allow for a verification of both the real finance needs and the distinctive nature of these needs, as well as the conditions for an effective match between supply and demand for dedicated financial resources.
Considering the dual nature of these organizational forms, as businesses and social actors, there will be a particular reflection on the need on the one hand to turn to methods of funding these organizations that are not based on granting loans that only evaluate economic performance, but which know how to take into account the social nature of the action, and on the other, to study possible alternative forms of funding.
Dr. Yiorgos Alexopoulos is a lecturer at the University of Athens hosted at Euricse thanks to Marie Curie funding for intra-European fellowships. The theoretical and empirical research he has conducted will contribute specifically to the reflection on the issue of funding methods for social enterprises.
GECES – European Commission