25 November 2020, The Hague – Euclid Network (EN) is proud to present its 2020 Manifesto underlying the crucial role of social enterprises in the post-COVID-19 economy. The manifesto presents 15 concrete policy recommendations aimed at boosting social enterprises and their role in a green and just economic recovery across Europe.
Euclid Network federates organisations that support social enterprises across 21 countries, representing all stakeholders involved in the European social enterprise ecosystem: national social enterprise and civil society networks, incubators, universities, knowledge centres and social investors. EN celebrates the diversity of cultural and historic traditions on social enterprises across Europe and focuses on what unites us. This manifesto is a result of a collaboration of all EN members.
The current COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many fragilities in our economies, and deepened existing disparities, while highlighting the need for resilience, innovation and cooperation. The pre-crisis problems, including the insufficient quantity and quality of employment, the growing inequalities, global warming and migration, the unsustainability of the current industrial food system, are worsening significantly as a consequence of the measures taken to counteract the health emergency.
The key question now is, once the health emergency ends, do we want to return to the world the way it was before COVID-19? What future do we want?
EN envisions a post COVID-19 economy in which social enterprise is the global standard, rather than the exception. Social enterprises, enterprises which trade for a social or environmental purpose offer a business model to help achieve our shared objective for a just and green economy in line with the SDGs. During this crisis, social enterprises are once again demonstrating their crucial role in our economy and society. Like traditional businesses social enterprises create revenues, jobs and profits but their main objective is to create social impact. Social enterprises reinvest or donate their profit to create positive change. Social enterprises are in our communities and on our high streets – from coffee shops and cinemas, to pubs and leisure centres, banks and bus companies.
Similar to many other businesses, social enterprises are under immense pressure brought by the economic downturn while struggling with a lack of visibility and recognition by governments to effectively influence decision making.
The policy decisions governments make now, will determine what our post COVID-19 economy will look like.
Governments have a unique chance for a green and just economic recovery that they must seize. Governments must now recognise the vital role of the social enterprise sector and harness its potential for an inclusive, equitable and sustainable economic recovery.
To support social enterprises all over Europe and to further unlock their potential as drivers for a just and green economic recovery, we propose the following 5 policy priorities:
The EN Manifesto presents a roadmap to EU institutions and Member States for a post COVID-19 economic recovery, putting social enterprise at the heart of the recovery strategy. It includes 15 concrete policy recommendations to support and advance the social enterprise ecosystem across Europe.