Better Incubation is a project by LIAISE

Webinar: Social Economy Action Plan – Opportunities for BSOs

Webinar hosted by EBN on the European Commission’s recently released Social Economy Action Plan (SEAP) on 19 May 2022.

Our key speakers was:

  • Guy Lejeune, Senior Expert on Inclusive Entrepreneurship from DG Employment, European Commission.
  • Karel Vanderpoorten, Policy officer –Proximity, Social Economy, Creative Industries from DG GROW, European Commission,


In its recently launched EU Social Economy Action Plan (SEAP)“Building an economy that works forpeople: an action plan for the socialeconomy“ (2021-2030), the European Commission has signalled an important role of the business support organisations (BSOs) in supporting the social economy organisations and social enterprises, while advising the EU Member States to encourage BSOs to better incorporate these entities in their business development services (p.14).The SEAP proposes 38 concrete measures to be implemented in the coming nine years, in different core areas, including :

  • promoting social economy at local, regional, and international levels,
  • business support,skills,youth entrepreneurship,
  • access to funding and finance,
  • social impact measurement,
  • social economy contribution to the green and digital transitions,
  • socialinnovation.

Webinar Objectives

Besides providing the summary of the key aspects of the SEAP, the Webinar “Social Economy Action Plan : Opportunities for BSOs” focused on how we can increase the impact of the BSOs in the implementation stage of the SEAP, looking at the following :

  • how to maximise the potential of the BSOs to translate some of the recommendations in the SEAP into practical initiatives on the local, national and EU level.
  • what are the existing and future synergies of the SEAP with other EU programmes/initiatives which will enable BSOs to foster social innovation, local development, and green and digital transition while reaching social impact.

During the session

During the session the speakers talked about the importance of the transition pathway on proximity and social economy referring to the Annual Signle Market Report 2021 presented an analysis of the challenges in 14 industrial ecosystems and the transformative initiatives to achieve the twin green and digital transition and increase resilience. They will also build on the social economy action plan, which proposes a series of actions for the period 2021-2030 to support the development of the social economy.

They also emphasised the different types of business companies present in the European Union, highlighting achievements such as entrepreneurship, social innovation policies, the Single Market Act, the Small Business Act, among others. In 2023 the European Cooperative Statute is expected to be adopted.

They gave relevance to the role of clusters and similar business forms that cooperate in fostering the development of the social economy, through the report that identifies the model of Clusters of Social and Ecologic Innovation (CSEI) and explores their presence across the European Union.

The European Social Economy Regions initiative (ESER) initiative was also discussed during the session. Launched in 2018, has become a powerful social economy community of practitioners across Europe, generating more than 100 new regional and local partnerships on social economy. Its key objectives are to raise awareness of social economies at the regional and local level and to build regional networks of social economy stakeholders.

The different forms of funding available to EU and non-EU citizens were also highlighted. Referring to microfinance, social enterprise finance and other relevant EU funding programs during 2021 – 2027 such as The European Social Fund Plus, Horizon Europe Projects, Enterprise Europe Network , Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs ans more.

Also important is the EU Funding Toolkit, an interactive EU funding guide, that provides detailed information on the relevant financial and non-financial support programmes made available to social enterprise support organisations by various public institutions and private organisations. It also showcases all novelties presented under the new EU Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027, to make sure social enterprises and their support organisations are well aware of new EU Funding programmes and adaptations of already existing programmes

About Better Incubation

The seminar is organised as a part of the Better Incubation programme (2021 –2023) funded by the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation, and is led by three network organisations: The European Business and Innovation Centre Network, Impact Hub and the European Venture Philanthropy Association.

The aim of Better Incubation is to strengthen the role of the business support organisations as catalysts of the entrepreneurial support ecosystem, while experimenting with the inclusive incubation practices to foster inclusive and social entrepreneurship across Europe. Read more here.

You can watch the session again here

Next Webinar

The next Better Incubation webinar related to Social economy funding instruments will take place towards the end of the year (December 2022). We will inform you about the date and details soon.

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