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Financial ecosystem/social enterprises

EESC opinion: Financial ecosystem/social enterprises

The EESC considers that:

  • the Commission should not to lose the momentum in supporting the social economy agenda and should see access to finance as one component in the full ecosystem needed for the development and growth of Social Economy Enterprises (SEE);
  • ideal financial ecosystem for SEE includes features such as a multi-stakeholder approach, hybrid and patient capital solutions with guarantee schemes, often provided by social finance institutions sharing the values of the social economy;
  • the Commission should support the emergence of new instruments, ensure that financial regulation enables the development, promote research on the societal added-value of investing in SEE and ask Member States for peer reviews on the subject;
  • the Commission should make full use of the fact that the social economy is an investment priority in the current Investment Plan for Europe;.
  • the EU must equally recognise SEEs by providing a supporting factor in the Capital requirements regulation. Bank lending to the social economy would benefit greatly from this, with no impact whatsoever on public finances.
  • financial support from the EU level must be coupled with the EC providing guidance, training and capacity building for governments and key stakeholders.
  • Member States should act as co-investors to support the establishment of ethical funds, social innovation funds and social venture capital funds and facilitate public guarantee schemes. They should also consider reviewing the opportunities of tax rebate on income as well as other tax incentives.
  • SEEs must themselves take initiatives in developing instruments such as auto-capitalisation, crowdfunding and engaging in social finance partnerships

But, to fully unleash the potential of the SEE, all Member States must develop and implement national action plans for the social economy based on a broad stakeholder approach including representatives from civil society.

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