Leveraging Social Enterprises for a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable Europe

A significant proportion of Europe's economy is intended to make profits for people other than investors or traditional enterprises. Known as the “social economy”, it includes cooperatives, mutual societies, non-profit associations, foundations and social enterprises. They are active in a very broad number of commercial activities, provide a wide range of products and services across the European single market and generate millions of jobs. Social enterprises are also the engine for social innovation.
The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has further stressed the importance of the sector, offering an immediate reply to urgent needs by providing services of general interest and being on the frontline helping vulnerable groups. Social enterprises are playing a crucial role in the European socio-economic landscape, making our societies more resilient, inclusive and sustainable.
Through the appointment of Nicolas Schmit as new European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights and his mandate to develop a Social Economy Action plan, the Von der Leyen team has shown its commitment to continuing the strengthening of Europe’s social dimension.
With this scenario in mind, this high-level event intends to capitalise the lessons learned through the Interreg Europe project Social Seed in which partners from a wide range of member states have implemented useful programmes to support social enterprises in different ecosystems.
During the first day (17 November), participants will have the opportunity to discover how project partners implemented their action plans, thus enabling social enterprises to reach their full potential. We'll also learning about the barriers they had to tackle. The session of the second day (18 November) will showcase and evaluate the current state of Europe’s social enterprise landscape, with the participation of various public and private social economy stakeholders presenting best practices and identifying lessons learned throughout the implementation of the project.
Participation in both days is highly recommended. Nevertheless, the first day aims mainly at policymakers with interest in how to best support social enterprises, while the general public will find a more stimulating content in the social entrepreneurs' testimonies that will be showcased during the second and last day of the event.


17 November 2020 – online (10:30 – 12:00)

Social Seeds' different approaches enabling social enterprises to reach their full potential:
Description and lessons learned from the execution of the Action Plans


Joint Secretariat of Interreg Europe


  • Aron JAKAB, IFKA
  • Zdenek HANZAL, RERA
  • Victoria BLESSING, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum
With the intervention of Ulla ENGELMANN, DG Grow
Followed by Q&A and poll ressults
Discussion moderated by Victor MESEGUER, Social Economy Europe

18 November 2020 – online (10:30 – 12:00)

Experiences and good practices in supporting social enterprises, gained through the implementation of the Social Seeds project
  • Internationalisation of social enterprises: Steinbeis Europa Zentrum and Social Entrepreneurship BW e.V./Ohana
  • Financial support to social enterprises: IFKA and SME (tbc)
  • Internationalisation of social enterprises: BSC Kranj and RECOSI
  • Upskilling in social enterprises: RARR and ZAZ Nowa Sarzyna
  • Circular economy social enterprises: RERA and Kabinet CB
Followed by Q&A and poll results
Discussion moderated by Victor MESEGUER, Social Economy Europe

 Participation free of charge. Register via https://site.evenium.net/socialseedsevent/