Chiara Davalli, Senior Project Leader, European Business and Innovation Centre Network (EBN)
Ann Branch, Head of Unit, European Commission – DG Employment
Kristian Mancinone, Social Innovation Expert – ART-ER
Rocío Nogales Muriel, Executive Director – EMES
There is an undeniable link between strong economies, prosperity, social fairness and sustainable development. In the sustainable transition, the entrepreneurial innovators providing new solutions to tackle the global challenges we experience in our local, regional and national environments are the key enablers. Supporting those who support this new innovative kind of entrepreneurs should be part of the equation. As vehicles for sustainable growth, social and inclusive entrepreneurs are the cornerstones of a rapidly growing social economy sector.
Social entrepreneurship, as a movement and as a term, is moving rapidly into the mainstream. Also, inclusive entrepreneurship, specifically targeting under-represented groups in society can help tackle the growing inequalities Europe is experiencing. Actively including migrants, women and youth has the power to stimulate economic activity through job creation and by empowering individuals. It is about fairness and equity, the realisation of individual aspirations, economic empowerment and growth. It is both a moral and economic imperative.
The next era of entrepreneurship is about raising the bar, levelling the playing field, expanding participation and scaling the networks of social, financial and knowledge capital that provide the foundation for successful and sustainable start-ups and scalable businesses. Business support organisations (BSO), in all their varieties, could expand their scope and increase their role by providing capacity-building and support services to innovative SMEs taking up the call to deliver in the sustainable transition.
Being part of a leading international community, EBN and the 130+ EU|BICs (quality-certified business innovation centres) and 40+ Associate members are well-positioned to boost solutions to the challenges of our times by embracing social and inclusive entrepreneurship.