European Social Fund and developing social enterprises active in the circular economy
- 22nd May 2018
More can be done to effectively support social enterprises active in re-use and repair through the European Social Fund according to a high-level roundtable discussion in Brussels.
20th – 21st March 2018, RREUSE assisted DIESIS and AEIDL in the organisation of a roundtable on the role of the European Social Fund (ESF) in providing opportunities to support social enterprises active in the circular economy. Participants included ESF managing authorities from 8 countries as well as three departments of the European Commission, namely DG ENV, DG EMPL and DG GROW. The workshop focused on the key barriers and success factors to developing social enterprises active in the circular economy, including re-use and repair activities. Best practice from the re-use sector like Cauto (Italy) and Emmaus France (France) were presented as well as landscape maintenance, composting and innovative activities related to the bio-economy presented by Pro-Natura (Belgium).
The aim of the workshop was to outline a number of ways in which the ESF could be used as an enabler to help develop activities of social enterprise in these areas, alongside other funding mechanisms such as the European Regional Development Fund. How the ESF is currently distributed at national and regional level were key factors in the discussion. The following day RREUSE organised a visit to a social enterprise ‘De Kringwinkel Televil’, in Vilvoorde, Belgium. The organisation, part of KOMOSIE, a member of RREUSE, provides job and training opportunities for around 340 people from a total of 38 countries across its 5 second-hand shops and distribution centres. In 2016 Televil welcomed nearly 300,000 customers. The visit gave the opportunity to ESF National Agencies delegates to get a better idea on how a re-use centre work and how professional it could be.