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Social enterprises and social startups are among those hit hard by the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis. At the same time, crises like this one are an opportunity to speed up societal change as the pressure for progress is high. Social enterprises are particularly suited to use social innovations to foster and support this type of societal change. Speaking at a conference organised by the German Social Entrepreneurship Network (SEND), Federal Government Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Startups Thomas Jarzombek announced a tailored funding programme designed by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy to support social enterprises and social startups.

Said Thomas Jarzombek: “The bridging assistance instruments by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy were already specifically open to social entrepreneurs to support the important work they are doing. Social enterprises and social startups and the social innovation they bring about help us achieve a more sustainable and stable form of economic and societal development, and create jobs. This is why we are now presenting a specific funding programme tailored to their needs.”

The programme will launch in early 2021 and expire at the end of 2022. The funding will be made available from the European Social Fund. Under the programme, social entrepreneurs will receive advice, training and support services to help them optimise and digitise their business models.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is drawing on the new REACT-EU instrument for this funding programme. This tool is designed to support companies in overcoming the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst also fostering the transition to a greener, more digital and stable economic system.