European Commission’s expert group on Social Economy and Social Enterprise
On behalf of our Network’s members and their support base, we take part in the European Commission’s expert group on Social Economy and Social Enterprise (GECES). Here an update of the progress we made so far.
The GECES is exploring the potential of clusters to boost the development of social enterprise. Clusters are defined as groups bringing together a number of companies, especially SMEs, closely related economic actors and related institutions, such as technology centres or development agencies within a certain region or city. A cluster allows the participating organisations to develop between them specialized expertise, services, skills, new resources, suppliers. The cluster encourages and animates collaborations and networking between all these actors.
Social economy clusters could offer opportunities for social enterprises. Based on a culture of cooperation rather than competition, a cluster makes it possible for social enterprises to pool resources, products or services; exchange of experiences or knowledge; pooling of workspaces, places of accommodation; group purchasing or public procurement, training, etc. They could allow for cooperation on common projects such as managing shared jobs and common responses to public contracts. Also, a cluster attracts other stakeholders in the impact ecosystem, such as social investors and others funders.
At this stage we are looking for examples of social economy clusters and eager to hear your views on the potential of clusters for social enterprise.
What is an expert group?
The European Commission can set up an expert group when it needs specialist advice from outside experts (like Euclid Network) as a basis for sound policymaking. This consultative body is set up by the Commission is composed of 40 experts from the private sector (check all members here), 40 experts from the public sector and observers from organisations such as the OECD and the UN.
Have your say!
If you would like to share your views on social economy clusters or find out more about our work with GECES please contact the Euclid Network (EN) team