Thematic workshop on social innovation and entrepreneurship

10 September 2019
About the event

The ‘Thematic workshop on social innovation and social entrepreneurship’, organised by the European Commission - Directorate General for Employment Social Affairs & Inclusion (DG EMPL) in partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB), took place in Lisbon on 10 September 2019.

The event gathered almost 100 experts from Portugal and across Europe, letting them exchange and discuss the opportunities and challenges of setting up financial instruments aimed at delivering measurable social impacts.

As introduced by Sofia Alves, Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Portugal, financial instruments’ contribution to achieve the EU's social goals is constantly on the rise.

The event showcased some innovative experiences. The Portuguese Social Innovation Initiative, a fi-compass case study, was presented in its comprehensive approach by Filipe Almeida, Portuguese Social Innovation Mission Unit, who described the four arms of the initiative and the results achieved so far. Luis Jeronimo, Calouste-Gulbenkian Foundation (Portugal), highlighted the importance of establishing partnership between the private and public sectors to break through with innovative approaches like the Social Impact Bonds, which in Portugal are allowing to set standards for social impact measurement. Later on, João Santos from Maze (Portugal) illustrated how crucial it is for public administrations to consider equity-based instruments when conceiving a balanced toolbox for social economy. Thereafter, Kim Kreilgaard, from the EIB, explained EIB Group activities in Portugal, including the support to social sector granted by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and by the Social Impact Accelerator managed by the EIF.

Sofia Alves
Ms Sofia Alves, European Commission Representation in Portugal
Lisbon 10 Sept 2019
Event overview

Other similar initiatives are springing in Europe. Susanna Longo, Finpiemonte (Italy), indicated that, as part of the deliverables of the Multi-region assistance (MRA) project “Innovative Financial Instruments in support to the Social Economy” (IFISE), some feasibility studies were conducted in Piedmont, Lombardy, Andalucía and Comunidad Valenciana. These studies enabled Piedmont, Andalucía and Comunidad Valenciana to take a strong commitment towards the setting up of financial instruments for social innovation, explained Stefan Mathesius, from Agencia de Innovación y Desarrollo de Andalucía – IDEA (Spain). Laura Savini from Finlombarda (Italy) revealed that Lombardy Region is looking into the launch of a pilot Social Impact Bonds.

Roberto Doneddu from Sardinia Region (Italy) showed how combining ERDF and ESF resources in a single financial instrument could cater for impact on a larger scale, as in the case of the Sardinian Social Impact Investing Fund. Key features include, inter alia, the thorough impact assessment and the related remuneration for private investors (the latter involving the use of reflows).

José Luis Ruiz de Munain from Foro Impacto (Spain) explained the role of the Global Steering Group for impact investment and the perspective of civil society and social practitioners focusing on the required aspects to take social impact investing one step further in the EU.

Filippo Munisteri, DG Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission, illustrated the InvestEU Programme. The InvestEU social Investment and skills window will avail around EUR 4 billion of budgetary guarantee to develop and consolidate the European social sector, including innovative schemes like the Social Outcomes Contracts (SOCs). In this respect, Jelena Emde, EIB, explained how the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH) can deliver support to Member States through the dedicated Social Outcome Contract Advisory Platform.

Andrea Da Pozzo, DG EMPL, European Commission, shared with the audience the increase in the take-up of financial instruments under ESF in the current programming period: 51 ESF financial instruments are currently operating across Member States, with some EUR 815 million of committed resources and approximately EUR 49 million paid to final recipients. The outlook for the coming programming period can foresee a further increase, as the regulatory framework will be more conducive for FIs.

Eugenio Saba, EIB, finally run through the features of the fi-compass advisory platform, particularly of bespoke actions like the Capacity Building Services. Preliminary findings of the ESF Survey were unveiled, whilst a complete report will be issued in autumn 2019.

Mr Luis Jeronimo, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal, Mr Kim Kreilgaard, European Investment Bank, Mr João Santos, MAZE, Portugal, Mr Filipe Almeida, Portugal Social Innovation Mission Unit
Mr Luis Jeronimo, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal, Mr Kim Kreilgaard, European Investment Bank, Mr João Santos, MAZE, Portugal, Mr Filipe Almeida, Portugal Social Innovation Mission Unit

The event was moderated and concluded by Bruno Robino, EIB, who highlighted the key takeaways from the various working sessions, among which are the need to factor in realistic timelines for the deployment of impact-oriented initiatives and the importance of a community of practitioners as an environment to share success stories and receive adequate assistance.


pdf presentation      pdf audio      pdf video      pdf case study

The audio in the video files is in original language of the speakers. The English interpretation is available as audio files.

Title Speakers
The Portuguese Social Innovation initiative - Challenges and success factors

Mr Filipe Almeida, President, Portugal Social Innovation Mission Unit

The Portuguese Social Innovation Initiative - Developing an impact investment ecosystem in Portugal and the role of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Mr Luis Jeronimo, Director of the Cohesion and Social Integration Programme, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal

Equity for social innovation EIB Group Financing Social Innovation

Mr Kim Kreilgaard, Lisbon Head of Office, European Investment Bank

Equity for social innovation

Mr João Santos, Investment Principal, MAZE, Portugal

Social Impact Investment Fund: the Sardinian experience

Mr Roberto Doneddu, ESF Managing Authority, Sardinia Region, Italy

Multi-region assistance programme - Innovative Financial Instruments in support to the Social Economy

Ms Susanna Longo, Financial instruments and grants, European Affairs and Projects, Finpiemonte, Italy

Financial instruments for social impact: Social Impact Fund for Andalusia

Mr Stefan Mathesius, Head of Financial Instruments Unit, Agency for Innovation and Development of Andalucía – IDEA, Spain

Financial instruments for social impact: Social Impact Bond for Lombardy

Ms Laura Savini, Innovation Senior Expert, Finlombarda, Italy

Impact investing in Europe and links with ESF – the Spanish example

Mr José Luis Ruiz de Munain, Founder and Executive Director, Foro Impacto, Spain

The InvestEU Programme: an instrument to support investment in the next MFF

Mr Filippo Munisteri, Economic Analyst, DG Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission

Support for Social Outcomes Contracting - Current developments and future outlook

Ms Jelena Emde, Financial Instruments Advisor, European Investment Bank

ESF financial instruments: state of play and novelties under ESF+

Mr Andrea Da Pozzo, Policy Officer, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission

ESF financial instruments: fi-compass support

Mr Eugenio Saba, Financial Instruments Advisor, European Investment Bank

Event pictures
Mr Andrea Da Pozzo
Event overview
Q&A and peer-to-peer discussion
Social media

Workshop programme Lisbon
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