Call reference: VP/2019/015 - Actions to boost the development of finance markets for social enterprises
A new call for proposals was launched under the Employment and Social Innovation Programme (EaSI), with the aim of contributing to the development of finance markets for social enterprises across Europe.
The objective of the call for proposals is to contribute to the development of a social finance market, by designing and launching financial instruments for social enterprises and, at the same time, generating effective demand for social finance among social enterprises by developing their “investment readiness”. Ultimately this should enable more social enterprises to take on repayable finance for developing and scaling up their business model. In this way the call aims at feeding the pipeline for the EU level financial instruments such as the EaSI Guarantee, the EaSI Capacity Building investments, the EFSI social impact investment instruments, as well as future EU level instruments for social entrepreneurship which will be launched under the InvestEU Fund.
The call also encourages learning from different models and good practice in developing and enhancing social finance across the Union, through organized sharing and disseminating of expertise and experience.
In order to achieve these objectives, the Commission will set up a learning network of the grant beneficiaries and facilitate peer learning and transnational exchanges. It will also assist projects in using EU financial instruments.
In order to take into account the different stages of development of social finance markets as well as different stages in the preparation of financing instruments for social enterprises, the call offers two strands. Each strand addresses a specific configuration of barriers in the social finance market. Both strands aim to develop and connect the supply side of social finance (by establishing partnerships, financial instruments or financial intermediaries) and the demand side (by enabling the delivery of business development and investment readiness services for social enterprises).
Strand A: Establishment of social finance partnerships
This strand encourages the first steps towards a social finance instrument by facilitating the development of a consortium and commitment to act in view of laying the groundwork for a future financial instrument. It is also meant to encourage learning from good practice examples and expertise that can guide the formation of this partnership.
Strand B: Establishment of social finance instruments and mechanisms
This strand is aimed at mobilising key partners (potential investors, support organisations and stakeholders) to act and to cooperate with a view to setting up a concrete financial instrument. This type of action can give a strong signal to capital providers by demonstrating the feasibility of social finance. It is also meant to reduce the risks associated with innovation and to facilitate the acquisition of specific expertise needed for drafting contractual agreements.
The activities to be funded will consist of developing social finance partnerships and feasible, suitable and reliable financial instruments or schemes providing finance to social enterprises, as well as non-financial support aimed at improving the social enterprises' investment readiness (such as business development and networking):
Analytical activities such as market assessments, mapping projects, assessment of feasibility and suitability of setting up social finance mechanisms/instruments, design of methodologies, tools, processes;
Marketing/networking actions aimed at bringing in additional investors (e.g. organisation of meetings or participation in relevant conferences/ fora that gather potential investors);
Training activities and capacity building actions (e.g. aimed at developing capacities for managing investments);
Knowledge dissemination and know-how transfer from and to peers in other EaSI participating countries (e.g. study visit, expert workshop, adaption of tools, procedures/contracts, etc.);
The replication or adaptation of proven financing or support models, to be implemented in other countries. This may also include translations.
The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of actions is estimated at EUR 2 500 000 million. There will be no specific distribution of funds per strand. Taking into account the available budget, the proposals with the highest total scores will be recommended for award, irrespectively of the strand under which they have been submitted, and on the condition that the total score reaches minimum 65 points.
The EU grant requested should indicatively be:
for strand A: between EUR 150 000 and EUR 200 000
for strand B: between EUR 200 000 and EUR 250 000