314 million to encourage job creation by French associations

To enable civil society actors in France to continue to create jobs and contribute fully to the growth of the country, a specific measure for associations not subject to corporation tax was adopted: the decrease in the amount of their tax on wages. The government has decided to increase the reduction in the payroll tax from 6,000 euros to 20,000. This measure represents an effort of 314 million euros for the state budget. Associations will benefit from this measure as of January 1st 2014. Aimed at employers not subject to corporation tax (87 % of associations), the measure will have … Continue reading

Law decree gives Bolivian workers the right to take over bankrupt companies

The President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, approved a law decree that will enable workers to take control of bankrupt or abandoned factories in order to set up social enterprises, including co-operatives. The decree, marking the 62nd anniversary of the Confederation of Workers of Bolivia, is based on article 54 of the constitution adopted in 2009, and states that workers can reopen and reorganise enterprises that have gone bankrupt, are being liquidated or abandoned without justification. “From now on workers will no longer be subject to owners’ bankruptcy threats when they do not wish to comply with the laws. If they … Continue reading

Industry Canada Considers Socially Responsible Enterprises in CBCA

On December 11, 2013, Industry Canada launched a consultation on the Canada Business Corporations Act (“CBCA”) in order to ensure that the governance framework for CBCA corporations remains “effective, fosters competitiveness, supports investment and entrepreneurial activity, and instills investor and business confidence.” Among other topics, the consultation is to look at issues raised by a review of the CBCA conducted in 2009-2010 by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (the “Committee”), including: rules applicable to the incorporation of socially responsible enterprises. The consultation provides a discussion paper to elaborate upon these issues. Following the Committee’s … Continue reading

EU event on the social economy lays out 10 recommendations for European governments

On 16 and 17 January 2014, the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the City of Strasbourg hosted a large European interactive event on social entrepreneurship and the social economy. Meeting and working together, over 2000 social entrepreneurs and supporters of social enterprise, representing the rich diversity of the social economy, affirmed the view that social enterprises must play a bigger role in the future of Europe and identified new ideas and actions to unlock their potential for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The objectives of the conference were to take stock of the achievements and … Continue reading

European directive to encourage the purchasing of equitable, solidarity or ecological products

A new European directive on public procurement in the EU, adopted on January 15, facilitates the integration of fair trade in the public markets. The new EU directive on public procurement was adopted by Parliament by a large majority, after consultation with the Council of Ministers. Local and national governments across Europe can now promote the purchase of fair trade products or others stemming from ethical solidarity and ecological approaches. The new directive confirms the orientation taken by the European Union Court of Justice in its decision on the case of the province of North Holland, which for the first … Continue reading

Bulgaria: the Nord-Center region creates the first regional platform for the social economy

In one of the poorest regions of Bulgaria, several municipalities and NGOs have established social enterprises. They have recently joined in a regional platform for the social economy, the first of its kind in the country. It aims to improve the information capacity of social enterprises, to strengthen the support system and to disseminate good practices and social innovations. Supported by European funds and a private foundation, the platform was created in 2013 in the region of North Central Bulgaria. The regional platform project is critical because, despite the potential of social enterprises to contribute to social inclusion, there are … Continue reading

Bulgaria: a plan to develop the social economy in 2014

The Bulgarian government should adopt in early 2014 a plan for the development of the social economy, including measures related to awareness, education and research, as well as training for the stakeholders. For now, on the ground, NGOs have been encouraged to develop economic activities related to their projects. Municipalities are also often the initiators of social enterprises which then take the form of municipal enterprises. Social enterprises, as defined by the European Commission, is the preferred form adopted for these ventures. Currently, forty social enterprises in Bulgaria have been identified in such areas as the environment (cleanliness, green spaces) … Continue reading

Towards the creation of mining cooperatives in East Kasai, Congo

The province of East Kasai will set up during 2014 a policy to foster the creation of mining cooperatives in order to render mining in the province efficient and competitive. This decision was made by the Provincial Council of Ministers, chaired by the provincial governor Alphonse Ngoyi Kasanji. The Council wants to help artisanal diamond miners to work cooperatively for the good development of the sector, based on business plans that meet legal standards. The provincial government intends to conduct an important education campaign aimed at miners in different target areas to promote the project. It hopes to enable artisanal miners … Continue reading

Territorial Hubs of the social and solidarity economy recognized by the French government

The government now recognizes the major role that the Territorial Hubs of Economic Cooperation (Pôles Territoriaux de Coopération Economique  or PTCE ) can play in the innovative and inclusive economic development of territories. An interministerial call for proposals has allocated € 3 million to these Hubs. The Hubs regroup any “group of actors on a territory – initiatives , companies and networks of the social and solidarity economy, combined with micro-enterprises, SMEs, local authorities, research centres and training organizations – that implement a common and continuous strategy of cooperation and mutual services to the benefit of  innovative economic projects for … Continue reading

Training and funds to support employee-owned businesses in Iowa, USA

After winning approval during the last legislative session to provide financial help to business owners looking to sell their companies to employees, the Iowa Economic Development Authority is starting a string of education sessions on employee stock ownership plans. About 20 representatives of Iowa companies attended the first event held in December 2013. The plans, or ESOPs, are designed for business owners looking to sell their companies to their employees. Economic development officials have said the goal is to keep such businesses in Iowa rather than having them sold to an out-of-state entity. The state Legislature granted the Authority $500,000 … Continue reading