“Social entrepreneurship has remarkable potential to tackle the economic and unemployment crisis by combining profitability with sustainable growth and inclusion to deliver significant positive social and environmental impact for the common good. However, although social economy is gaining popularity in Cyprus, there is a lack of a support system and financial incentives that promote the development of social enterprises.“ Kyriaki Demetriou
The president of Anemos Ananeosis / Wind of Renewal participated in the Networking Workshop ‘Development of Social Economy in Cyprus’ that took place within the framework of the project ‘Go Social: Supporting Employability through Social Entrepreneurship’ and presented the experience and activities of our social cooperative enterprise.
Suggested measures to support the Development of Social Economy and Employability in Cyprus
By Kyriaki Demetriou
AKTI Project and Research Centre
-Member of GoSocial
The Networking Workshop ‘Development of Social Economy in Cyprus’ that took place within the framework of the European-Union funded project “Go Social: Supporting Employability through Social Entrepreneurship” brought together key stakeholders of social and environmental economy from Cyprus and abroad to increase mobilization and engagement of policy makers towards the development of the sector in Cyprus. The workshop highlighted the potential of social entrepreneurship in new and established economic activities as well as the social, environmental and economic benefits for Cyprus, especially within the context of improving employability and supporting the work integration of
The following key proposals/suggestions were proposed for creating a supporting framework for the development of social economy in Cyprus deriving from the presentations of the keynote speakers and workshop discussion:
✔ Organise national awareness campaigns to recognize and highlight the importance and benefits of social economy as a crucial driver in shaping a sustainable, inclusive, healthy, and green future
✔ Create a positive social entrepreneurship culture among the future generations by promoting social and environmental entrepreneurship at all levels of school-education
✔ Provide attractive incentives for companies, like tax exemptions, to promote the development of the social economy
✔ Provide easily accessible grants and subsidies from public authorities and EU funds to new social and environmental businesses and existing businesses that would like to transit to social economy,
✔ Create seed funding opportunities for innovative, solution-oriented ideas to support their start-up and growth
✔ Include simplified tender procedures and reporting requirements for social businesses within the new law on social entrepreneurship
✔ Educate the young generation of entrepreneurs on new business models deriving from the Circular and Green Economy principles
✔ Create a recognizable certification/label for social businesses to increase awareness and visibility of social economy products and services among consumers
✔ Promote social and solidarity economy by providing training to migrants and refugees on green jobs to enable their work integration
✔ Train unemployed and socially vulnerable youth in educational/academic subjects and professions that are important for social and ecological sustainability and green-circular economy
✔ Organise training programmes on current social and environmental needs and challenges within the Cyprus context
✔ Provide practical guidance on how social entrepreneurs can provide solutions to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and in charting the way towards recovery.
✔ Promote partnership and collaboration within organisations, institutions, private and public sectors within Cyprus for the development of social enterprises
Although in its early stages, a new social economy is emerging in Cyprus. Better collaboration and commitment are needed among public authorities, the social and economic actors. Coordinated actions for the development of support mechanisms, financial incentives, resource mobilisation, awareness raising, education and training in social entrepreneurship, are essential elements for the development of the sector. Enabling environment for social enterprises is supporting economic growth and benefiting society and the environment for the whole island.
More about the project: www.gosocialcy.eu
The project ‘Go Social: Supporting Employability through Social Entrepreneurship’, is co-financed by the European Union, with partners: Famagusta Walled City Association (MASDER), AKTI Project and Research Centre and Famagusta Women Centre Association (MAKAMER).
Τα περιεχόμενα του άρθρου αποτελούν αποκλειστική ευθύνη των εταίρων του έργου και σε καμία περίπτωση δεν μπορεί να θεωρηθεί ότι αντικατοπτρίζουν τις απόψεις τις Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης.