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Foto: Mimi Thian

Greening SMEs in the proximity and social economy call open

If you aim to support SMEs from social economy ecosystem in green transition through activities in cross-innovation, know how transfer and capacity building activities- put deadline for submission is 14 February 2023 in your calendar. To learn more about the call’s policy context, technical and financial provisions and explanation of the application process we recommend to join the info session on 12 December 2022.

The main objective of this call for proposals is to green the processes and activities of SMEs in the social economy by boosting the development of sustainable practices through capacity building, knowledge transfer and transnational cooperation.


The action foresees the following outcome:

  • Improved capacity of social economy SMEs and entrepreneurs to perform on the green transition;
  • Enhanced transnational cooperation of public authorities and other stakeholders on the identification and implementation of sustainability practices for the proximity and social economy ecosystem;
  • Fostered cross-sectorial cooperation and knowledge transfer between social economy SMEs and start-ups, mainstream businesses, consultancies, business support centres and incubators with regard to the uptake of green skills and the development of more sustainable products and services;
  • Evidence-based integration of sustainable innovative processes by social economy SMEs and start-ups boosting their competitiveness and creating potential new market opportunities;
  • Further investment of social economy SMEs in sustainable alternatives, capacity building and knowledge transfer.



The action will support transnational partnerships to boost the capacity of social economy SMEs and entrepreneurs in the proximity and social economy ecosystem to green their operations to innovate their products, services and processes and therefore enable them to scale up their contribution to the green transition in the EU. Green growth can offer significant benefits but many SMEs active in this ecosystem still face barriers regarding the sustainable transition.


Activities will be carried out, for example, via training, coaching, capacity building, peer learning, consultancy, incubation, job shadowing and awareness raising activities.

Activities could fall under at least one of the following themes (not exhaustive):

  • improving social economy SMEs environmental footprint;
  • Boosting the sustainable contribution of social economy entities to circular economy;
  • Enabling the development of local green markets;
  • Testing, implementing and scaling-up innovative green solutions by social economy SMEs and entrepreneurs;
  • Capacity building and expertise sharing about environmental impact of social economy SMEs;
  • Setting up investment or financial vehicles to finance the green transition of social economy;
  • Fostering social economy SMEs’ capacity and skills to improve their use of new digital technologies for green purposes;
  • Evaluating skills, infrastructure and investment needs required to enable social economy entities to meet climate targets in the long term.


Each consortium must deliver the following mandatory activities:

  • Organization of transnational capacity building activities bringing together different partners and stakeholders;
  • Organization of coaching, mentoring targeting social economy SMEs and entrepreneurs;
  • Delivering capacity building through advisory services to support social economy SMEs and entrepreneurs in identifying and implementing sustainable changes;
  • Providing financial support to the SMEs.


Click here for the Call for Proposals!