Social Enterprise Support Organisations (SESOs) often operate in challenging financial situations due to difficulties in accessing funding. Common challenges for SESOs often include the lack of political support, poorly suited legislation versus the needs of SEs and a lack of understanding of their business models and the importance of social impact. Additionally, the maturity of the ecosystem in which SESOs operate may pose a further challenge.
Euclid Network (EN) has been monitoring member financial health for a couple years, to identify opportunities to support, and diversify funding sources and enable these organisations to operate more sustainable business models while pursuing substantial social and ecological impact. This informs EN’s activities regarding policy and capacity-building, as well as in facilitating connections across the demand and supply spectrum of the social entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Join us in reviewing the latest results of the Annual Membership Consultation 2022-2023
EN members differ in type, size, and governance structure, therefore the results presented in the financial section of the report cannot be taken as a comparison, but instead descriptive, providing an overview of the sector, insofar as it is represented by the limited sample in this study.
On average, 81% of SESOs’ income derives from non-trading activities, versus 19% from trading activities. In comparison with last year’s results, this years’ responding SESOs continue to rely on non-trading income.
68% of respondents benefit from public funding (non-trading activities). Among the most selected trading activities, roughly ¼ of respondents (26%) benefit from trading with other SESOs, trading with third sector organisations and foundations and the public sector (governments).
Financial health is an aspect of importance across all organisations, including SESOs. Financially healthy organisations can plan long-term activities and implement long-term strategies, in partnerships with different actors.
In comparison to previous years and despite the lingering challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and more recent national and international economic disruptions, SESOs in Europe and neighbouring countries indicate a stable financial outlook. 57% of respondents have between 7 and 12 months of safe financial planning. 23% indicated to have between 2 and 6 months of safe financial planning. one fifth of respondents (20%) have financial planning horizons between 14 and 24 months.
Only 6% of respondents reported a loss over the past year. Most respondents (53%), however, indicated “We structurally do not intend to make a profit, but rather seek to match costs with funding/reserves.” This speaks to the ability of SESOs to match funding needs and operating costs to continue delivering impactful programs.
Access to EU Funding
EU funding is an important source of financing for European SESOs, and one of the most valued activities for organisations to join the Euclid Network. EN supports its members (and the wider sector, to an extent) in accessing EU funds through a variety of activities.
If you haven’t yet, check out the EU Funding Toolkit.
Approximately 2/3 of respondents (62%) already benefit from EU funding. An additional ¼ (24%) does not yet benefit but has the intention to apply for funding in future.
Respondents were asked to rank the types of EU funding programmes from which they already benefit from, and those which they would like to learn more about. This information is key to ensure Euclid Network can provide adequate training to build their capacity to apply and manage these funds.
In comparison to last year’s results, Erasmus+ continues to be the most common EU funding program that EN members benefit from. A novelty for this year is the Horizon 2022/Horizon Europe program featuring in the top 5 list. This is particularly exciting for the EN team to learn as it speaks to member capacity and expertise to apply for and secure Horizon funding. EN believes this may be indicative of both their level of expertise and long-term planning.
Support in accessing EU funding is regarded as one of Euclid Network’s highest added-value benefits for its members.
Have you gotten support from EN in accessing EU funds? How was your experience? Share it with us!
We’re always looking for the opportunity to learn from you and ensure you receive the support you need.
Stay tuned for more activities regarding EU funding!