The ESF work stream of fi-compass features a number of new activities in 2019. To help develop future fi-compass actions, both in the short and longer term, a stakeholder survey will aim at gathering feedback and opinions from ESF practitioners.
At the same time, as a follow up to the fi-compass case study on the Portuguese social innovation initiative, a workshop will be organised to analyse the potential for supporting social innovation and social outcome measures through ESF financial instruments. Furthermore, the peer-to-peer learning approach will be exploited by establishing new 'Communities of practice' for ESF practitioners and future possibilities will be explored through a study on crowdfunding.
A deeper involvement of managing authorities and ESF stakeholders
As ESF financial instruments present very specific issues and peculiarities, an ESF-tailored survey will allow practitioners to have their say on the setting-up and implementation of financial instruments, their current and future needs for assistance and their ideas on how to improve the take-up of financial instruments.
While the support opportunity offered by the Capacity Building Services will remain in place and is still available to interested managing authorities, the new 'Communities of practice' will enable new cooperating modalities among practitioners. Up to two pilot schemes of such peer-to-peer working groups will be launched in 2019, allowing the exchange of good practice and in-depth analysis of practical solutions to common issues for ESF financial instruments, with the support and supervision of dedicated experts.
New patterns for deploying financial instruments under ESF
Increasing numbers of managing authorities and stakeholders are looking at impact investing as a driver for their future action. A forthcoming thematic workshop on how to use ESF to finance social innovation and social entrepreneurship will aim to animate the discussion on the topic and raise further interest in it. Following hard on the heels of the pioneering experience of Portugal Social Innovation Initiative, interested ESF managing authorities and stakeholders will have the opportunity to gain insight and experience from real-life case studies.
Moreover, new possibilities will be explored by carrying out a study on crowdfunding and ESF financial instruments. Taking inspiration from existing forms of support by ESI Funds to civic crowdfunding, the study will allow possible synergies between financial instruments under ESF and crowdfunding platforms to be investigated.