Actions to Boost the Development of Finance Markets for Social Enterprises


Programme Category

EU Competitive Programmes

Programme Name

European Social Fund +

Programme Description

The European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) is the European Union (EU)’s main instrument for investing in people.
Τhe ESF+ will continue to provide an important contribution to the EU’s employment, social, education and skills policies, including structural reforms in these areas.

Programme Details

Identifier Code



Actions to Boost the Development of Finance Markets for Social Enterprises


This call has opened under the Employment and Social Innovation (“EaSI”) strand of the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+).
The objective of this call is to develop social enterprise finance markets by bringing together the supply and demand side actors to facilitate the creation of financial instruments and to prepare social enterprises for investments.

Detailed Call Description

This call is aimed at mobilising key partners (potential investors, financial intermediaries, support organisations and stakeholders) to cooperate with a view to setting up a concrete financial instrument and investment readiness programme targeting social enterprises that need investments below € 500 000. The grant is meant to enable the replication of tested solutions in a new territory or the establishment of innovative instruments and approaches. It supports the first steps towards a social finance instrument by facilitating the development of a consortium and commitment to act in view of laying the groundwork for, and developing, a future financial instrument. The call also aims to encourage learning from good practice examples and expertise that can guide the formation of this partnership. The call is particularly relevant for actions in countries/territories with young social finance markets.

The call also has the objective to identify, develop, promote and disseminate good practices in supporting social enterprise finance. To achieve this, the European Commission will facilitate transnational mutual learning through five workshops. The workshops will enable the sharing of practices, experience and lessons learnt in implementing the actions. They will bring together organisations supported under this call and other competent organisations and experts. In addition, transnational mutual learning is encouraged among consortium members in order to transfer know-how among peers, support the replication and adaptation of tested solutions, and disseminate knowledge.

The activities to be funded will consist of developing social finance partnerships and feasible, suitable and reliable financial instruments or schemes providing finance to social enterprises, as well as non-financial support aimed at improving the social enterprises’ investment readiness (such as business development and networking)

Call Total Budget


Financing percentage by EU or other bodies / Level of Subsidy or Loan

The costs will be reimbursed at the funding rate fixed in the Grant Agreement (85%).

Project budgets (maximum grant amount) are expected to range between €300.000 and €400.000 per project.

Thematic Categories

  • Public Administration
  • Small-Medium Enterprises and Competitiveness
  • Social Affairs & Human Rights

Eligibility for Participation

  • Financial Institutions
  • Investment Funds
  • Large Enterprises
  • Legal Entities
  • Private Bodies
  • Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
  • State-owned Enterprises

Eligibility For Participation Notes

In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must be legal entities (public or private bodies), established in EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs)) or listed EEA countries and countries associated to the ESF+ or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature (list of participating countries).

Consortium composition – Proposals must be submitted by a consortium of at least 3 applicants (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities), which complies with the following conditions:

  • At least 1 applicant should be a potential investor that has signed a letter of intention to invest/co-invest in the envisaged financial product;
  • At least 1 applicant should be a support organisation that has signed a letter of intention to provide business development /investment readiness services to (potential) investees;
  • The consortium must be made up of applicants based in at least 2 different eligible countries in order to promote mutual learning and facilitate a transnational dimension.
  • For example, to promote mutual learning and share experiences applicants can choose to include an additional partner from a different eligible country than that of potential investor and support organisation. Investors and support organisations can also be from different countries if this makes sense in the context of the project (e.g. if a cross-border financial product is envisaged).

Call Opening Date


Call Closing Date


National Contact Point(s)

Directorate-General for European Programs, Coordination and Development
29 Vyronos Avenue, Nicosia
Tel:  +357 22-602883

EU Contact Point

For help related to this call, if you did not find an answer in the various support means, please contact: