Social Entrepreneurship Forum 2014

The numerous entities of social economy and entrepreneurship who participated and collaborated in the Social Entrepreneurship Forum (see programme), 20-21 November 2014, in Athens, representing the diversity of social economy, confirmed their belief that a different, social and solidarity economy exists and is the answer to the multifaceted Greek and European crisis.

This two-day event was jointly organized by “Wind of Renewal” (Anemos Ananeosis) – Social Cooperative Enterprise, 180 Moires Social Cooperative Enterprise, BENISI – Scaling Social Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship Supporting Network (SES Net), Heinrich Böll Foundation Greece, Impact Hub Athens and Ecological Recycling Society.

Within an interactive format the Forum provided information, spread good practices and business models of social enterprises from Greece and abroad, promote collaboration and networking of entrepreneurial initiatives and cooperative enterprises, and in-depth-discussions around the following topics were hosted: collaboration of local authorities with social enterprises based on the European legislation, financial instruments, potential of development and growth of social enterprises, sustainable public procurement,  potential of energy cooperatives, tools and methods for measuring and reporting on social impact of social enterprises.

The Forum concluded its working procedures with a Declaration in which the following is stressed out: Social economy and social entrepreneurship are recognized as factors of social and economic cohesion in Europe, thus contributing to the building of a pluralist and resilient social economy. They are also engines of change, developing innovative solutions to the challenges face nowadays. Operating in the common interest, they create jobs, provide innovative products and services, and promote the formation of a more sustainable economy, while contributing to the integration of democracy in economy jointly with environmental protection. They create new prospects and hopes for the future, based on the principles of solidarity and the empowerment of ownership, by supporting citizens in regaining control of the decision-making affecting their lives.

The participants who attended the discussion panels of the Greek Social Entrepreneurship Forum were representatives of social enterprises, institutional organisations, citizen society organisations, cooperative financial institutions, researchers from Greece and abroad as well as a significant number of elected local government representatives.

Participating organisations: 

– Agricultural Cooperative of Prickly Pear Producers of Krya Vrysi “Kedros”
– Development Agency of Karditsa AN.KA. SA.,
– BIOSCOOP, Social Consumer Cooperative of Thessaloniki
– Women Cooperative of Kato Tithorea “THIMONIA”,
– Social Cooperative Enterprise Network Central Macedonia
– European Research Institute of Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse)
– eBanka Croatia
– Green Energy Cooperative, Croatia
– “AGROZEVXI” Social Cooperative Enterprise
– “SPEIRA GIS” Social Cooperative Enterprise
– Orthodox Academy of Crete,
– PANCRETAN Cooperative Bank,
– Producer – Consumer Cooperative “GAIA” Crete
– Cooperative “THESgala – PIES”, Thessaly
– Cooperative Bank of Karditsa,
– RESCOOP Energy Cooperative Belgium,
as well as SOCIAL ENTERPRISES from Italy, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Austria.

The Forum is being held with the support of the Representation of the European Commission in Greece, the European Parliament Office in Greece, BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, Association of Cooperative Banks in Greece and INNOVATHENS – Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub at Technopolis – City of Athens.

You can download the Press Release of the Forum here (pdf)