March 01, 2017

“Improving Access to Funding” – a complementary Subject Paper from the GECES

The “Social enterprises and the social economy going forward” report, adopted in October 2016, is a capstone of the European Commission’s Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship (GECES).

Money 2

As a follow up, just last month, the subject paper of the Improving Access to Funding Working Group, led by EVPA’s representative to the GECES, Lisa Hehenberger, was made available on the Commission’s website. As a supporting document to the GECES report, the paper sheds light on the considerations behind the recommendations included in Chapter 2 of the report, elaborating in detail on specific ways of implementing them through the aid of illustrative case studies. 

As part of creating an ecosystem that improves access to finance for social enterprises, the working group focused on three key policy domains – capacity building, private funding and public funding. The Working Group’s recommendations were formulated against the backdrop of diverging interpretations of the very concept of social enterprises, their differing financing needs, as well as certain regulatory disincentives across many Member States.

In this context, three principal ‘blockers’ to accessing finance by social enterprises were identified. The recommendations that figure in the GECES report were directly informed by these needs:


The subject paper reinforces the utility of the GECES report, translating and breaking down already very concrete policy recommendations into specific actions to be undertaken. The Working Group thus fulfills its mandate to advise the Commission on implementation of the Social Business Initiative (SBI) to the letter. With the aid of numerous examples, case studies and best practices, the Commission is guided even further in how it may go about enacting the measures proposed. 

EVPA is proud to have contributed to the elaboration of this paper, inputting its expertise and resources, in conjunction with the participation of several EVPA members in the Working Group – Bates Wells Braithwaite, FASE, Social Finance UK, and TISE. Leveraging its network, producing pioneering research and adding value to the policy community, EVPA will continue to work with practitioners and policymakers towards actively growing the VP/SI market. 

To access the Subject Paper click here!

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