Support to social enterprise in the new legislative package adopted by the Commission October 6, 2011

The proposals for the future of Cohesion Policy, including the Regulations for the European Social Fund and for Regional Development Fund, as well as for a European Union Programme for Social Change and Innovation have been adopted by the Commission on October 6.

Overviews and the legislative proposals have been posted on the EU Commission website:

1) Cohesion Policy package

Summary information:

ESF Regulation

2) Programme for Social Change and Innovation:


The proposed Regulations include support to social enterprises by facilitating access to finance and infrastructures which have been identified as key bottlenecks for setting up, developing, and scaling a sustainable business:

  • The microfinance and social entrepreneurship strand in the Programme for Social Change and Innovation builds upon and continues the existing Progress Microfinance instrument, extends its coverage, and complements it by a financial instrument with a Union contribution of around 90 million Euros to provide equity, debt, and risk sharing instruments to social investment funds and financial intermediaries for financing social enterprises, thus becoming a catalyst to mobilise private and public social investors and to encourage the setting-up of dedicated social investment funds at national and regional level, and
  • The introduction of an investment priority on "social enterprise" under the new ESF and the ERDF Regulations is expected to encourage and guide member states and regions in establishing targeted actions to support social enterprise, based on a comprehensive strategy for boosting social enterprise.