The Single Market Programme aims to strengthen the governance of the EU single market and ensure its recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. The programme brings many activities together under one coherent umbrella to reduce overlaps. It focuses investment where it will have most impact. The topics covered by the programme include: food safety, consumer protection, support to SMEs, a more effective single market, high quality European statistics and effective European standards.
The first call is titled “Social Economy Missions for Community Resilience” (SMP-COSME-2023-RESILIENCE-01). The general objective of the call is to boost the development of social economy SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) active in rural areas. The project is aiming at building a European network of regional and local authorities with converging priorities on social economy and creating space and opportunities at EU level for learning and collaboration. This call for proposals will support consortia developing collaboration through sharing and replicating best practices and learning with focus on boosting the resilience, the greening and the digitalisation of social economy enterprises and SMEs active in rural areas. The specific objectives to be achieved through this call for proposals are the following:
- Taking stock of main recommendations and good practices from previous projects, carried out on the issue of social economy supporting resilience of rural communities, funded under Horizon Europe, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Single Market Programme (SMP);
- Fostering the creation of social economy networks and stakeholders at regional and local level to boost resilience, greening and digitalisation of their members and improving collaboration between existing ones;
- Boosting inter-regional learning between social economy stakeholders (public and private sector);
- Contributing to a gradual social economy community building as an integral part of a sustainable European economic model with focus on rural communities’ resilience through the development of social entrepreneurship.
A proposal submitted under this call must focus on a specific theme identified by the applicant consortium, relevant for all consortium partners and with specified objectives to be achieved. The proposal must address one of the themes listed below or identify another theme of relevance to the consortium partners around boosting social economy businesses in rural environment:
- Building clusters of social innovation and ecological innovation in rural areas
- Boosting green, and digital transition through social economy in rural areas
- Fostering social entrepreneurship, including for sustainable agriculture and food systems
- Reinforcing education, training and skills development activities for unemployed people in rural areas, targeting in particular youth and women
- Developing the New European Bauhaus and quality of life in rural environment
- Other relevant theme.
The call has 3 mandatory project activities, which include:
- Activity 1: Preliminary overview of existing projects
- Activity 2: Minimum of three transnational workshops and learning activities
- Activity 3: Collecting of good practices and developing recommendations for replication
The estimated available budget for this call is EUR 1 000 000 and the European Commission is planning to fund a maximum of 4 projects with this budget. The deadline for the submission is the 7th of December 2023. For more information, please visit the Commission’s website.
The second call is titled “Proximity and social economy industrial ecosystem: boosting the digital transition of social economy enterprises and SMEs” (SMP-COSME-2023-SEED-01).
Primary objectives of this call for proposals are:
- Firstly, strengthening the digital transition and capabilities of SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) in the social economy through capacity building activities, knowledge transfer and transnational cooperation, and consequently foster their economic, organisational and impact related performances.
- Secondly, strengthening the digital capacity of ‘enabling organisations’ in the social economy. Those are organisations representing, federating or supporting SMEs in the social economy and are operating at local, regional, national or EU level. In doing so, those organisations can multiply the effects of this call and support their members, clients and stakeholders in their digital transition as well as driving digital social innovations. Consequently, those organisations can take up an enabling role adapted to the sectoral, local or organisational context and consequent digital needs.
A secondary objective is to strengthen, where digital maturity allows, the role of social economy as a driver for digital social innovation and consequent digital solutions and tools (e.g. tech for good) developed to answer social, societal and environmental challenges.
Proposals can target a specific subset within the social economy, for example based on communalities such as:
- Sectoral activity within the social economy (e.g. SMEs in the social economy active in recycling, social services, retail, tourism, agri-food, health and care services, manufacturing, etc.).
- Specific type of SMEs in social economy (e.g. social enterprises, different type of cooperatives, Work Integration Social Enterprises, foundations and philanthropic organisations, impact investors, mutual societies, etc.).
- Geographical grouping of social economy SME’s (e.g. social economy organisations in a Member State, region(s), city/ies and social economy cluster(s) or similar social economy related territorial partnerships).
- A combination of the above-mentioned aspects.
From a thematic point of view, proposals must be focused on at least one of the 7 action areas of the digital chapter in the transition pathway for proximity and social economy:
- New business models – the platform economy
- Data Maturity and data driven business models
- Public and private tech partnerships and support
- Data sharing, Data management & Code of Conduct
- Supporting Digital Social Innovation & Tech for Good entrepreneurship
- Access to technology
- Boosting digital skills by – and in the social economy Applicants must choose on which (one or more) of the seven (7) action areas their proposal will focus.
Each consortium must deliver the following mandatory activities, which are relevant for the primary objectives of this call for proposals:
- Activity 1) Mapping and needs assessment.
- Activity 2) Organisation of transnational, national, regional or local capacity building and training activities (e.g. targeted online and on-site trainings, peer-learning sessions and awareness raising activities) primarily for SMEs in the social economy and, if appropriate, also for social economy enabling (intermediary) organisations, members of the consortium and other relevant social economy stakeholders with interest in digitisation aspects;
- Activity 3) Organisation of coaching, mentoring, advisory services (e.g. job shadowing, social intrapreneurship programs) and business support activities (e.g. incubation and scaling-up support) primarily for SMEs in the social economy and, if appropriate, also for social economy enabling (intermediary) organisations, members of the consortium and other relevant social economy stakeholders;
- Activity 4) Providing financial support to the participants (external to the consortium) for the activities organised by the consortium as specified in the below section ‘Financial Support to Third Parties’.
The budget available for the call is EUR 8 000 000 and the European Commission is expecting to fund 6-8 projects with this budget. The deadline for the submission is the 21st of November 2023. For more information, please visit the Commission’s website.
To learn more about current calls for proposals or Eurodiaconia’s funding events, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Projects and EU Funding Officer Giorgia Signoretto at email@example.com.