After a full year of intensive work, the European Commission “Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship” (GECES) has published the final result called “Social enterprises and the social economy going forward – A call for action from the GECES”.
The report proposes a series of key recommendations for policy-makers to support the development of social enterprises and the social economy as a driver of inclusive and impactful economic growth. The report is structured according to four key thematic areas.
Rocío Nogales, director of EMES, was the coordinator of the work done around the first area, namely visibility and recognition of social enterprises. She joined forces with 24 members of a working group focused on the topic to come up with ways to increase raise awareness and to promote a better understanding of what social enterprise means. Three recommendations are put forward in this regard:
- The first calls on the European Commission, Member States and social enterprise organisations to gather stronger evidence on the added value of social enterprises and to better communicate it, with actions encompassing data collection, the co-creation of an EU-wide communication strategy, the sharing of social impact management know-how and tools, and the building of better capacity to report on the social value generated by social enterprises.
- Secondly, to nurture a more assertive and coordinated social enterprise community, the report recommends forging diverse and inclusive representative networks that make it possible to take advantage of synergies, while promoting mutual learning. These networks could represent social enterprises at EU level and promote a culture of co-creation when it comes to policy targeting the social economy and social enterprises.
- Finally, to support a stronger place for social enterprise in public policy and actions at all levels, the Commission, along with the Member States and their local and regional authorities, should mainstream the social economy and social enterprises in all relevant policies, programmes and practices. Targeted actions towards this goal involve including social enterprises as eligible entities in all relevant European funding programmes, promoting the participation of the social economy and social enterprises in relevant European mobility schemes, and promoting mutual learning and capacity building between regional and local authorities so as to develop integrated support strategies.
There are three other areas (access to finance, legal frameworks and international dimension) covered each of them with its own recommendations. You can download the entire Call to Action here or the Executive Summary with all the Recommendations here.