ROUND TABLE 1 “ THE SOCIAL ECONOMY SECTOR AS A DRIVER FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF REGIONAL EMPLOYMENT ”-Bratislava, November 30th 2016

Social economy initiatives, being based on cooperation and civic engagement among the individuals who make up communities, contribute to boosting social, economic and territorial cohesion and to raising the level of trust throughout the EU, due to their commitment and degree of local rootedness, making them less vulnerable to relocation. The social economy and social enterprises play a key role for local and regional authorities who can directly benefit from the added-value or new ideas, solutions and approaches to unforeseen or unavoidable problems that they create, whether this comes in the form of generating wealth and social connections or the production of new goods and services. The round table will debate how the different players (at local, regional, national and European level) can contribute in creating favourable conditions for social economy and social enterprises in their territories.

WORKSHOP 1 “GROWTH AND SUSTAINABILITY OF SOCIAL ENTERPRISES”- Bratislava, November 30th 2016

Social enterprises employ more people than private firms on average, and have also proved more resilient to downsizing in the current economic crisis. Their growth and development is thus a  matter of public interest as well as in the interest of the enterprises and their members. However their growth dynamics have some specific features. The workshop will present some concrete examples of how to support the growth of social enterprises and different successful practices, supported by the sector itself or by public policies. Starting from the need of the sector, for each practice we will analyse the funding mix, the partnership model and the results in terms of growth, employment and social impact.

WORKSHOP 2 “START-UP OF SOCIAL ENTERPRISES-FACTORS AND TOOLS TO CREATE SUSTAINABLE SOCIAL ENTERPRISES”-Bratislava, November 30th 2016

Social innovation is now seen by most as a factor of sustainable growth. It attracts more and more attention notably though the development of fair trade, distance learning, integration of migrants and so on. The workshop will highlight the best practices among Member states to sustain the creation of social economy and social enterprises. Participants will be invited to debate with the speakers in order to identify the main obstacles encountered during the creation process and propose solutions. What is at stake here is the weight of social economy and social enterprises for the European economy in the future.

WORKSHOP 3 “THE EXTERNAL DIMENSION OF SOCIAL ECONOMY”-Bratislava, November 30th 2016

In this Workshop we will address the increasing attention to the participation of Social Economy in the External Action Policies. In the last decade we have witnessed the birth and development of a  series of initiatives promoting the role of Social Economy actors in addressing the alarming challenges posed to the international community. Thus, we will try to analyse this through the experiences, practices and knowledge of the speakers and the public participating. The main idea is that under this new interest in Social Economy we need to build on previous experiences and pay attention to threats and opportunities.

ROUND TABLE 2 “SOCIAL ECONOMY AND THE NATIONAL LEGAL FRAMEWORKS Bratislava, December 1st 2016

This round table will first give an overview of the european context and the different models of the national legal frameworks. Secondly, two examples of law experiences, France and Slovenia, will be presented by the two State secretaries. Afterwards, the needs of the social economy enterprises concerning the legal frameworks will be covered. The round table will then put forward what is necessary to build a new law in Slovakia. Finally, round table participants will have the opportunity to react and discuss with the speakers.

WORKSHOP 4 “GROWTH AND SUSTAINABILITY OF SOCIAL ENTERPRISES PART II.”-Bratislava, December 1st 2016

The revised EU Public Procurement Directives offer several social advantages, which could represent an important potential for the development of social enterprises. One of the novelties of the new directive is that it allows the use of reserved contracts to economic operators that work for the social and professional integration of persons with disabilities and disadvantaged workers (including social economy enterprises). It also encourages the award of contracts not only on the basis of the lowest price / cost, but on the basis of a combination of criteria that can include quality, innovation, social and environmental considerations (the so-called “Best Price-Quality Ratio”). During the workshop, experts, policy makers and practitioners will present good practices and discuss opportunities, barriers and tools to promote the participation of social enterprises in public markets.

WORKSHOP 5 “THE ROLE OF SOCIAL ECONOMY AS A PARTNER IN POLICY ECOSYSTEMS”-Bratislava, December 1st 2016

In this Workshop we will address the role of Social Economy actors in Policy Ecosystems and how this role can be more effectively performed. Thus, we will try to analyse this through the experiences, practices and knowledge of the speakers and the public participating. The main idea is to see the need to actually engage in improving the capacity of the Social Economy actor to become a capable actor within formal and informal partnerships. This will be addressed from a  systemic approach, i.e. considering not only the actors and the environmental conditions per se but also their interaction and other systemic features.

WORKSHOP 6 “FINANCIAL TOOLS”-Bratislava, December 1st 2016

This workshop will build on the GECES recommendations on Access to Funding of Social Enterprise. Representatives of the European Commission, Member States, as well as practitioners from the financing sector will discuss how the GECES recommendations are being and will be implemented; and what are the remaining challenges to build a productive eco-system to enable funding of social enterprise and social economy. Workshop participants will be able to interact with the speakers to debate questions around the most suitable financing instruments for which situations, the role of capacity building and the complementarities between private and public funding.