Innovative financial instruments as part of the development of social impact companies

EESC opinion: Innovative financial instruments as part of the development of social impact companies


  • welcomes the decision of the French Presidency of the Council of the EU, and the specific commitment of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and of the French Government to support the implementation of the Social Economy Action Plan;
  • considers it important to develop innovative financial instruments capable of generating positive social impact; firstly, through actions led by social economy organisations, but also through the involvement of all enterprises that have positive social impact goals;
  • believes that recognition of the social economy and of the community as one of the 14 European industrial strategy ecosystems contributes to the promotion of social impact investments, and thus welcomes this recognition;
  • considers it important to introduce and support forms of investments aimed at generating social impact, creating high-quality jobs and attracting private investors and new capital, but recommends that these investments be developed in a way that generates additional and multiplier effects, while never replacing public social expenditure on essential services;
  • supports (i) the social impact assessment tools and indicators being co-built upstream on a project-by-project basis, thus ensuring that the specific characteristics of social economy organisations are respected and (ii) that a European definition of social impact is developed;
  • recommends that investments aimed at generating social impact be designed to strike a balance between the social impact (positive changes generated by the investment), the level of return (responsible and sustainable for the investor) and the level of risk to the social enterprise;
  • appreciates the initiatives implemented by the European Commission in recent years, in particular those related to the EaSI programme, and welcomes the fact that InvestEU has a specific allocation aimed at strengthening the European social infrastructure;
  • considers it important that regular analyses be carried out to map the various innovation systems in order to support social impact financing in the Member States, with the aim of building a shared knowledge base and promoting the exchange of best practices;
  • believes that it is essential to establish an EU-level body to steer and monitor innovative social economy financing initiatives and enterprises aiming to achieve social impact goals.

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