Sustainable growth and employment are common concerns among the partner countries in the southern Mediterranean region, where 5 million jobs need to be created on a yearly basis to ensure social inclusion. The largest reservoir of jobs remains within the 6 million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that account for 90% of total employment, but still have a minor contribution to sustainable growth. The creation of more productive and efficient enterprises can fuel economic growth and create demand for skilled labour, generate better-paid jobs and contribute to social stability.
Boosting economic inclusiveness, employability and job creation through social enterprises, require capable business support institutions, inclusive financing mechanisms, serious engagement of unconventional stakeholders (such as municipalities, private sector businesses and academia), meaningful collaboration at a national, regional and international levels, in addition to an evidence-based policy, an enabling legal environment, and a transparent and accountable regulatory mechanisms in favor of social justice and economic development, adapted to local contexts and conditions.
GLOBAL OBJECTIVE. Promote an enabling environment in the Southern Mediterranean partner countries for the development of the social entrepreneurship sector as a driver for inclusive growth and job creation.
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE. Increase economic inclusiveness and employment in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine where adequate policies on social entrepreneurship are in place, public-private dialogue and exchanges of practices are promoted and high quality services for social enterprises are provided.
The project period is 54 months (four years and half) starting from March 2018 until end-August 2022.
Strategy and activities
MedUp! worked with a multilevel approach:
- At Macro Level: Promoting country and cross-country policy and advocacy initiatives and public-private dialogue to create an enabling regulatory and policy environments.
- At Meso Level: Reinforcing 60 social entrepreneurship support organizations through capacity-building and networking activities.
- At Micro Level: Providing financial and technical support to 100 social enterprises.
The main activities implemented are the following:
- Carry-out national and regional analyses of the main social entrepreneurship perceptions, actors and priorities including barriers to, and economic impact of, women and youth entering the regional labour force.
- Conduct policy and advocacy initiatives on the importance of social entrepreneurship as a mechanism for inclusive growth and job creation at national and cross-country level.
- Enhance public-private debate and stimulate initiatives and policies supporting social entrepreneurship for women and youth.
- Conduct national needs assessment and provide capacity building for targeted social entrepreneurship support organizations.
- Provide technical support to develop innovative products and services targeting social enterprises.
- Promote networking activities between social entrepreneurship support organizations and local financial institutions.
- Organize exchange and networking events between public and private key stakeholders and their counterparts in the EU and in the Southern neighbourhood.
- Set up sub granting schemes for financial support to selected social enterprises.
- Provide technical assistance services for the development of viable social enterprises.
- Collect good practices of promising social enterprises and disseminating them at national, regional and European level.
- Define a strategy for the replication of successful social enterprises.
During the implementation, the MedUp! performance has been assessed by external experts in the following reports:
The action is co-funded by the European Union, Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR).
This category has the following 3 subcategories, out of 3 total.