GEMSE - “Gemeinsam mehr Social Entrepreneurship”

19. Dez 2018

SENSES establishes contacts to the Austrian Stakeholder Group for Social Entrepreneurship GEMSE

On the 27th November the Multi-stakeholder group GEMSE, “Gemeinsam mehr Social Entrepreneurship” (Together more social enterprises”) presented their core positions to a wider audience. The informal network constituting GEMSE first met in 2014. It consists of enabling institutions, traditional interest groups, funding agencies and promotional institutions, aiming at a better representation of social entrepreneurs’ interests and an improvement of the social enterprise ecosystem in Austria. The network was first initiated by Arbeit Plus, Ashoka, aws, Impact Hub, IV, Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development, RPCK | Rastegar Panchal und die Vienna Business agency. Later the FFG, pi’nphi und SENA, an interest group of social entrepreneurs which was recently founded, joined in.

The main topics GEMSE was dealing with in recent years are:

  1. The legal form that would fit social enterprises best
  2. The formation of an interest group of social entrepreneurs, to contribute to the formulation of a clear identity of social enterprises.

In this framework the multi-stakeholder group developed 10 core positions. The most important positions claimed are:

  • To build ground for alternative forms of financing such as crowdfunding, public co-investment of private institutions and the building of Social Impact Investment Funds.
  • Access to appropriate incubation programs and incubators for social enterprises.
  • A reform of the legal framework for “non-profit” organizations.
  • Include social enterprises in public procurements.
  • Stronger anchoring of social entrepreneurship in the educational and research landscape.
  • To involve stronger in international, European initiatives.

ZSI was recently invited to join the GEMSE network. This gave us the opportunity to promote the SENSES Regional Action Plan for Austria.  It was presented to GEMSE members in a meeting on the 12th December 2018. There also SENA, the newly constituted interest group for social entrepreneurs, gave insights into their constitution.

SENA, the Social Entrepreneurship Network Austria, was created in June 2018. It is the first national representation of interests of social entrepreneurs and was co-founded by seven owners of well-established social enterprises in Austria. Only owners of the enterprises can become members of SENA, not the enterprises themselves. Hence, SENA considers itself as a representation of those who share the financial risk of running the social enterprise. Enabling institutions and traditional enterprises can become supporting members of SENA.

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