Social enterprises contribute to the European policy in the area of employment and social inclusion and are particularly relevant for the implementation of the rights and principles expressed in the European Pillar for Social Rights.
The European Commission recognised the potential of social enterprises for innovation and their positive impact on the economy and society at large in its Social Business Initiative and Start-up and Scale-up Initiative. Within this context, lack of or poor access to finance was identified as one of the most significant barriers to the creation and development of social enterprises.
To this end, several financial instruments have been launched within the EaSI programme and the European Fund for Strategic Investments. In addition, EaSI technical assistance – which previously addressed only microcredit providers – has been extended to cover also targeted support to social enterprise finance intermediaries.
A consortium of service providers performs these technical assistance support services, on behalf of the European Commission. The lead partner of the consortium is the European Center for Social Finance at the Munich Business School. Services will be provided in collaboration with a network of around 25 established experts from the field.
Therefore, if you are funding or planning to fund social enterprises, you might be eligible for valuable technical assistance services.
This social enterprise services are complementary for EaSI TA for microcredit providers and can be of interest to those MFIs who plan to work also with social enterprises.
Who is eligible
Social enterprise finance intermediaries wishing to improve relevant aspects of their operations, performance and governance can apply for technical assistance with a view to boosting their institutional capacity. The aim is to select organisations that are in most need of support from EaSI Technical Assistance, ensuring a balanced geographical representation.
The social enterprise finance intermediaries targeted by the technical assistance services comprise:
- social enterprise finance providers (such as banks, public and private investment funds, fund-of-funds or (co-) investment schemes)
- impact investors keen to address in the future the market segment of the EaSI Guarantee for social enterprises (i.e. investments of up to €500,000)
- social enterprise support organisations (such as incubators, accelerators) that offer accompanying financial support
- social enterprise support organisations (such as incubators, accelerators) that are in the process of widening their scope with a view to providing accompanying financial support to social enterprises.
These technical assistance services focus on capacity building and cover analysis, training in designing suitable financial instruments, applying suitable tools and ensuring quality, mutual learning and exchange of good practice, networking and partnering, monitoring and evaluation.
What services are on offer?
There are two strands of support services:
- Provision of targeted capacity building services
Targeted capacity building services are usually offered in a 1:1 format focused on investment readiness, impact assessment and measurement, fundraising or specific strategic and operational topics. Formats and content of the services will be determined jointly with the beneficiary.
- Exchange and dissemination of good practices in the European social enterprise finance sector
This strand aims to foster an open learning culture. There will be peer-to-peer trainings, study visits and thematic workshops clustered along streams illustrated in the following table:
|Operations||Risk management, ICT, fraud prevention, governance, legal issues|
|Finance||Valuation techniques, exits, term sheets, investment strategy, instruments|
|Impact||Impact assessment, impact measurement, theory of change|
|Market||Deal flow, selection, fundraising, marketing, PR, working with investees|
Once a year there will be a conference at the Munich Business School in order to bring together all topics and participants for convergence.
How can you benefit from the services?
Some of the activities (trainings, workshops) will be open only to organisations selected though a Call for Expressions of Interest. These activities will be tailored to the specific needs of the applicants.
Other activities/events will be open to all interested social finance intermediaries, including those that did not apply to the call for expressions of interest but manifest their interest to participate to a particular activity. These activities will be of a more general nature (e.g. workshops on social impact measurement). The list of next events is published in the relevant section below.
Call for expressions of interest
Events open to all social finance intermediaries will most likely start as of September 2019. The list of events and links to the registration forms will be published in this section.
This initiative has received financial support from the European Union
Programme for Employment and Social Innovation “EaSI” (2014-2020).
For further information please consult: http://ec.europa.eu/social/easi