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Project Description



The choice to focus on social enterprises mainly created by youngsters was driven by some evidences:

  • the continuously rising rate of youth unemployment in Europe and the difficulty to cope with it using traditional economic policies and
  • the overall difficulty for youngsters, and especially for youngsters wishing to create social enterprises, to access appropriate financial instruments, given, for instance, the low capacity to provide guarantees, not to quote other obstacles such as a lack (of knowledge) of technical assistance.

The choice to work on partnership funds was made against the evidence of the reduction of public funds that are available for the specific target and hence the need to bring together different sources of finance (including those that are untapped and/or underused).

The 3E4SE project involves five European Networks, on one hand, and local partners in two European regions, on the other hand. Together, the partners are in a position to reach out to a network of social enterprises, business support agencies specialized in the accompaniment of social enterprises, potential investors (financial actors in general) and local/regional governments in nearly all EU member states.


The 3E4SE project aims at establishing and testing a strategy for cooperation between public and private funding for the development of specific local/regional financial tools supporting social enterprises. A model/guideline for cooperation at EU level will be elaborated, involving ethical financing players, representatives of the beneficiaries and public authorities, and it will then be tested at local level in two regions, Puglia in Italy and Västra Götaland in Sweden.

The project will be developed through the following work packages:

WP0. Project coordination and management

WP1. Survey phase on existing financial tools for social enterprises:
it will focus on examples of collaborative funds, composed of public and private resources, for social economy support , their model of functioning, their success and their shortcomings.

WP2. Elaboration of EU level memorandum/guideline:
This WP will start before the local test phase and finish after the test phase. Its main objective is to provide a framework for local experimentation and for the establishment of a model fund. It will be based on both the experience of EU level organisations and on the results of the concrete experiences in Sweden and Italy

WP3. Creation and test of two regional memorandums:
This WP will focus on the elaboration and test of two regional experiences of 3E4SE funds in Italy (Puglia) and Sweden (Västra Götaland)

WP4. Drafting conclusions and policy recommendations:
this WP will lead to the elaboration of guidelines for the creation of 3E4SE partnership fund initiatives and to the elaboration of recommendations for improving the capacities of EU-level and local players to create and use such funds.

WP5. Communication and dissemination:
This WP will be implemented in different phases during the project’s activities, with the aim of:
• facilitating the communications among the project’s partners;
• facilitating the involvement of external stakeholders/actors in specific activities of the project
• disseminating the results of the project
• providing useful tools and information material for the replication of the project in other EU regions/countries

WP6. Evaluation
The evaluation will be both a process and an impact evaluation of project activities.



The 3E4SE project will identify:

  • appropriate legal tools and governance models for managing partnership funds;
  • technical assistance mechanisms to support the use and functioning of partnership funds;
  • appropriate techniques to match the specificity of social enterprises;
  • untapped resources at the local/regional level.

The project will also foster the creation of alliances between potential investors, social enterprises, business development services and public authorities at local/regional level.
The creation of an EU level memorandum/guideline will also allow the replication of the experience (thus creation of other local/regional funds based on the same kind of European framework and same terms of reference) in other regions and cities in different EU member States.

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