Social Investment Package

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Social Investment Package

What role can social enterprises/the social economy play?

The social economy is an important player in delivering support to people on the ground. Social enterprises can complement public sector efforts, and can be pioneers in developing new markets and supplying affordable products or services of higher quality for societal purposes. The social economy also plays an important role in supporting the labour market integration of those who are in a precarious situation. The European social economy sector represents today at least two million enterprises and employs over 11 million paid employees, which is equivalent to 6% of the EU's entire workforce. The SIP emphasises that it is important for Member States to provide social enterprises incentives for start-ups and put in place an enabling regulatory environment.

Source: RAPID Memo/13/117, 20 Feb 2013 'Social investment: Commission urges Member States to focus on growth and social cohesion – frequently asked questions' -

The accompanying Commission communication Towards Social Investment for Growth and Cohesion – including implementing the European Social Fund 2014-2020 (COM(2013) 83 final) points out, quoting the SBI, that "Social enterprises can complement public sector efforts, and be pioneers in developing new markets, but they need more support than they are receiving

It sets out (s. 4.1) measures to stimulate funding in social investment in addition to the ESF:

  • a support fund for social enterprises as part of the PSCI
  • a regulation for a European Social Entrepreneurship Fund (EuSEF) label to help investors easily identify funds that support European social businesses
  • a methodology to measure the socio-economic benefits created by social enterprises
  • a high-level conference early 2014 to disseminate good practices in supporting social entrepreneurship.

Country-specific recommendations

The country-specific recommendations the Commission has attached to the Social Investment Package contain the following:

  • CLLD: LT, SE
  • Entrepreneurship: DK, EE, ES, FI, MT
  • Social economy: EL, HU

See Staff Working Document Social Investment through the European Social Fund, SWD(2013) 44 of 20 Feb 13 at

See also: