Forschungspolitik & Entwicklung


Enhancing social enterprises competitiveness through improved business support policies

Improving SMEs competitiveness policies

Rationale behind RaiSE

Social Enterprises (SE) are drivers of social change that operate on the basis of viable business models, providing goods/services for the market in an entrepreneurial and innovative fashion and using profits primarily to achieve social objectives (European Commission’s Social Business Initiative (SBI) communication). The potential of SE to promote more and better jobs and generate inclusive growth, while addressing major societal challenges is widely recognised, especially after the adoption of the EC’s SBI in 2011.

In view of the above, many European regions have in the past years rolled out initiatives to foster social entrepreneurship. The current issue at stake is, however, on how to effectively promote the competitiveness of SE already competing in the market, taking into account that their support needs differ from mainstream SMEs. In effect, SE business support policies are still rare and, when available, fragmented among public authorities.

This challenge has motivated RaiSE partners to engage in cooperation and interregional exchange to enhance regional SE support policies to foster competitiveness, facilitating access to markets as well as finance and innovation. 6 regions, with an existing SE base but varied policy contexts, unite efforts to tackle the common challenge.

Numerous activities have been structured in Phase 1 to promote active interregional exchange and effective regional stakeholder engagement for joint development of regional Action Plans (AP), as well as EUwide dissemination. The plans should conduce improvements in the policy instruments selected, delivering new and enhanced services, further specialisation of training and support infrastructure, new funding for cooperation and ventures, etc. They should also conduce to better governance, engaging multiple stakeholders in policy development and implementation. The roll out of the APs will be monitored through Phase 2 over two years. All in all, the project duration is 54 months.

ZSI and its role in RaiSE

  • Enhances the quality of the interregional learning as a scientific partner, contributing mainly to the conceptualisation, analysis and assessment stages of the project

    => Scientific Supervision, Methodology Development, Expertise on Social Innovation
  • Provides technical guidance throughout the learning process, especially ensuring coherence and rigour in the analysis, in addition tospecialist knowledge in the social enterprise sector and the link with social innovation

  • Provides Quality Assurance to key deliverables

  • Drafts the methodology outlining the tools and steps for conducting the regional mapping and needs assessment of SE and the mapping of existing policy support instruments at regional level

    => Quality Assurance, Conceptualisation of regional mapping, Consolidation of PSI

  • Drafts an interregional analysis of policy support instruments for SE development

  • Technically supports regional stakeholder groups meetings and draws recommendations for the Action Plans to be implemented in each region

    => Support to Peer Review Process


Bereich: Forschungspolitik & Entwicklung


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Tags: businesses, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, social innovation

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Typ: Beratung

Programm: Interreg EUROPE

Projekt Status: Abgeschlossen

Von/Bis: 01/2017 - 06/2019

Laufzeit: 30 Monate


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