Funding Opportunities

EVPA identifies funding initiatives and instruments offered by European Union institutions, which are relevant to the Venture Philanthropy & Social Investment sector.

EU Funding Overview

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Social Economy Missions Call for Proposals

Programme: Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME)

Deadline: 26 September 2019

Objectives: To support a network of EU regional and local authorities with similar priorities and experts in the field and via inter-regional collaboration contribute to gradual setting up of a permanent community of practice in the field of social economy as the key component of a sustainable European economic system.

Eligible Applicants: Proposals must be submitted by consortia

  • Composed of at least three different legal entities
    • this may include public authorities (regional or local), social economy enterprises, other public and private entities specialised in social economy
    • natural persons are not eligible
  • Established in a minimum of three different EU Member States or countries participating in the COSME programme
  • Including at least one public authority at regional or local level from each county represented in the consortium
  • The coordinator/consortium leader has to be a local or regional public authority able to show case best practice in the social economy mission’s topic

Requirements: The proposals must address one of the following four social economy priorities:

  • Socially responsible public procurement
  • Education framework for social economy
  • Tackling regional/local unemployment via social economy model
  • Social economy clusters

Budget: €400 000

Information Session: Webinar on 25 July 2019, 14:30 (CEST) – Link to be announced here.

Click here for more information


Reducing youth unemployment: setting up co-operatives to enhance working opportunities in the EU


This call aims to improve the development of cooperatives and promote their image among young people. It seeks to embed cooperative entrepreneurial education in secondary and higher education as well as outside the educational environment. The Commission wants to support project that are innovative, transnational and implemented with a clear intention of replication. Projects should make results public and available for any actor interested in the cooperative business model and entrepreneurial training.

Particularly, the objectives intend to stimulate the transfer and development of competences of the cooperative entrepreneurship in countries where the cooperative tradition is weak and where benefits offered by the cooperative model are not sufficiently well known struggling with high youth unemployment To achieve the expected results, the action will be built around 3 different topics:

  • Topic 1: Delivering pilot training courses for students in secondary/higher education level
  • Topic 2: Cross-European workshops to share knowledge and learn from practitioners (‘train the trainers’).
  • Topic 3: Fostering the entrepreneurial mind-sets of young people to create cooperatives outside the educational environment.

Eligible applicants:

  • Applicants must be established in one of the current 28 EU countries.
  • For British applicants: Please be aware that eligibility criteria must be complied with for the entire duration of the grant. If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU during the grant period without concluding an agreement with the EU ensuring, in particular, that British applicants continue to be eligible, you will cease to receive EU funding (while continuing, where possible, to participate) or be required to leave the project on the basis of article II.17.3.1 of the grant agreement.

Budget and project duration

  • The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects is estimated at €1,950,000.
  • The maximum duration of project is 18 months.
  • Maximum EU financing rate of eligible costs: The contribution will be up to 90% of the total eligible cost of the action.

Deadline: 25/06/2019

For more information, click here.

Call for Proposals VP/2019/001 Support for social dialogue

Objective: Actions that address the following themes will be particularly welcome:

  • the employment, social and economic challenges as identified in the European Pillar of Social Rights;
  • the adaptation of social dialogue to changes in employment and work related challenges, such as :
    • modernisation of the labour market, job creation and job matching; quality of work, anticipation, preparation and management of change and restructuring;
    • digitalisation of the economy and society – including artificial intelligence-, the greening of the economy, flexicurity and skills;
    • (intra-EU) labour mobility, migration, youth employment, health and safety at work, modernisation of social protection systems;

Who is eligible: 

The lead applicant must be a social partner organisation at European, national or regional level. Co-applicants must fall within one of the following categories: social partners, non-profitmaking organisations, universities and research institutes, public authorities, international organisations.

Total Budget: €9,323,991

Grant: The grant request should be between €150,000 and €650,000.

Deadline: 13th June 2019

Learn more about this opportunity here

Pilot Project - Co-creating a European Ecosystem of Distributed Ledger Technologies for Social and Public Good


  • Co-design and launch of the Accelerator and its programme of activities
  • Open call for applications to the Accelerator
  • Implementation, management and monitoring of the Accelerator programme
  • Evaluation of top projects and organisation of final event of the Accelerator
  • Communication and impact assessment of the Accelerator

Eligible Applicants:

  • A single entity (with or without affiliated entities, as defined below)
  • A ‘sole’ applicant (several legal entities forming together one legal entity or 'sole beneficiary')
  • A grouping of entities (consortia) – with the entities forming this consortia having or not entities affiliated to them

Budget and duration:

  • €700,000
  • Maximum co-financing rate: 95% of total eligible costs
  • Duration of the action: 15 months

Deadline: 28 May 2019

For more information, please visit this page

European Social Innovation Competition

  1. Objective: The European Social Innovation Competition is a beacon for social innovation in Europe; utilising a proven methodology for supporting early-stage ideas and facilitating a network of radical innovators shaping society for the better

Who is eligible: 

  1. Projects in a wide range of fields, from education and health care to natural or urban environment and from new technologies to new systems and new processes;
  2. The Tournament is open to individuals or teams from (or residing in) the European Union Member States, Candidate and Potential Candidate countries, and EFTA countries that submit proposals to be implemented in one or more such countries 

Prize: €150,000

Deadline: 7 March 2019

More information is available here

Horizon Prize for Social Innovation in Europe

Objective: To bring about novel ways to respond to issues and opportunities of aging, and ensure a good quality of life and well-being of the elderly, and make active ageing a reality by keeping older people healthy, independent and fulfilled, including life satisfaction and social activities.         

Who is eligible: The contest is open to any legal entity established in an EU Member State or in an Associated Country.

Prize: One first prize of EUR 1,000,000 and four prizes of EUR 250,000 each

Deadline: 28 February 2019

The rules of the contest are available here.

Transaction cost support for social enterprise finance (EaSI programme)

Objective: This call for proposals is aimed at financial intermediaries that undertake long-term risk capital investments of less than €500,000  in the form of equity, quasi-equity or hybrid financing to social enterprises in the EaSI participating countries. The grant will support transaction costs linked to these investments, thus helping catalyze risk capital investment in the area of social finance.

Who is eligible: 

  1. an investment fund, a Fund-of-Funds, a special purpose vehicle, in any form, established or to be established;
  2. a (co-) investment scheme in any form (including managed accounts and other types of contractual arrangements) established or to be established. 

Prize: from €300,000 to €1,000,000

Deadline: 21 March 2019

More information is available here.

Social Innovation Tournament

Objective: The Social Innovation Tournament recognises and supports the best European social entrepreneurs. It is organised in a different country every year to reward and sponsor European entrepreneurs whose primary purpose is to generate a social, ethical or environmental impact.

Who is eligible: 

  1. Projects in a wide range of fields, from education and health care to natural or urban environment and from new technologies to new systems and new processes;
  2. The Tournament is open to individuals or teams from (or residing in) the European Union Member States, Candidate and Potential Candidate countries, and EFTA countries that submit proposals to be implemented in one or more such countries 

Prize: from €20,000 to €50,000

Deadline: 7 March 2019

More information is available here.

Horizon prize for social innovation - improved mobility of older people

Objective: rewarding the best solutions for improving the travel mobility of older people

Launch: 27 November 2017

Type: competition

Theme: social innovation

Beneficiaries:  social enterprises, NGOs  

Deadline: 28/02/2019 

Institution: European Commission

For further information click here

Skills for Employment and Social Inclusion: promotion of sustainable social entrepreneurship initiatives for more inclusiveness of Disadvantaged Groups and Marginalised people, DG DEVCO


To improve capacities of social entrepreneurship support structures while fostering the development and/or reinforcement of linkages with the same type of support structure in the region and in the EU (meso level).

To support and strengthen the existing social entrepreneurship initiatives/social enterprises including the newly created and registered non-profit companies and CSOs, self-employment which demonstrated its relevance and could be considered good practice as a sustainable social entrepreneurship business model (micro level).

Type: Grant 

Who is eligible: the lead applicant must, be a legal person, be non-profit-making, be a specific type of organisation such as: non-governmental organisation, international (inter-governmental) organisation, professional association or another non-profit making institution representing employers and/or the private sector, or a microfinance institution, and be established in a Member State of the European Union or Jordan.

Deadline: 31 July 2018

For further information, click on here.

European Social Innovation Competition

Objective: awarding outstanding social innovation projects

Type: competition

Theme: social innovation

Beneficiary: social enterprises

Amount: EUR 200k annual budget

Deadline: 27 April 2018

Institution: European Commission | DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

For further information about the 2017 edition visit the webpage

Examples of laureates: Cucula (2016)

Social Challenges Innovation Platform

Objective: matching local governments, organisations, NGOs and companies facing a problem which needs solving with the entrepreneurs, start-ups and social innovators that can solve them

Type: grant

Beneficiaries: social enterprises

Amount: EUR 30k and a 6-month mentoring programme 

Deadline of cut-off 2 : from 15/01/2018 to 15/04/2018

Institution: European Commission

For further information and to apply, access the Call for Grants

Transaction cost support for social enterprise finance

Objective: catalysing smaller risk-capital investments of below EUR 500k

Type: grant

Beneficiaries: financial intermediaries that undertake long term risk capital investments in ticket sizes of less than EUR 500k in the form of equity, quasi-equity, or hybrid financing to social enterprises

Amount: between EUR 300k and EUR 1m

Deadline:  15/04/2018

Institution: European Commission | DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Programme: EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI)

For further information and to apply, access the Call for Proposals

EaSI-PROGRESS - Call for proposals on social innovation and national reforms: Innovative work-life balance strategies to facilitate reconciliation of professional and caring responsibilities

Objective:  funding projects to develop, test, and implement innovative work-life balance strategies in the workplace

Type: Grant

Beneficiaries: public bodies, for profit or non-profit-making private entities.

Amount: EUR 10m to fund 5-7 proposals.

Deadline: 18/04/2018 

Institution: European Commission

For more information visit the website

EFSI Equity Instrument

Objective: supports social impact investors providing risk capital financing to social enterprises in their early, growth or expansion stage

Type:  equity investments

Amount: EUR 150m (max. size of single investment should not exceed EUR 50m)

Beneficiaries: financial Intermediaries

  • financial intermediaries linked to incubators, and/or accelerators
  • business angels or in business angels’ funds
  • intermediaries establishing and managing payment-by-results /social impact bonds

Deadline: 05/05/2018

Institution: European Investment Fund

Programme: European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) 

For further information and to apply, access the Call for expression of interest

For an overview of the instrument, access the leaflet for financial intermediaries


Contact for more info

Bianca Polidoro , Policy Manager, EVPA

Priscilla Boiardi , Knowledge Centre and Policy Director, EVPA


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