Social Entrepreneurs: Have Your Say! An Interactive Event on social entrepreneurship in Europe

entrepreneurs_en-extra_largeThe European Commission has organised a super interesting two-day interactive event on social entrepreneurship in Europe which will enable you to:

  • discuss the issues YOU want and feed that into the conclusions of the event
  • learn from foreign experiences and create networks
  • have your own stand to showcase your success

If you are interested in Social Entrepreneurship. Do not miss it!

Date and Location: 16.01.2014 – 17.01.2014 at Strasbourg Convention Centre (”Palais des Congrès”), Strasbourg, France

Register now!

About the event

Europe is changing – and new economic models are needed. European citizens, business, entrepreneurs and policy makers are taking action on the challenges we are facing in our social, economic and environmental spheres through social innovation, new forms of investment and surprising solutions. One of the key results is the emergence of a new social entrepreneurship sector which is taking root throughout Europe.

The European Commission, as a key policy maker for Europe, launched the Social Business Initiative (SBI) on 25 October 2011. Its objective is to illuminate and stimulate the action and innovation that is already taking place and to support it, through a favorable eco-system, to move forward by connecting policy makers, social entrepreneurs, citizens and investors.

Have Your Say! is a 2-day event in Strasbourg on 16–17 January 2014 that will bring together all the stakeholders to discuss the issues we face. This is a great opportunity for all those interested in the field to come together, ”united in diversity“, to co-create a coherent pathway and continue building a healthy and vibrant social entrepreneurship sector right across Europe.


  • Take stock of the Social Business Initiative (SBI – 25 October 2011) achievements and implementation
  • Identify the future priorities for action and where the EU could add value and support the scaling-up of social entrepreneurship
  • Engage stakeholders in an innovative and participative environment to shape the European agenda for the next 3–5 years
  • Strengthen stakeholder networks to support the emergence and scaling-up of initiatives and best practises
  • Create more ownership and awareness among institutional actors

Expected Outcomes

  • Strengthen and build the social economy network so that new initiatives are facilitated
  • Strengthen cross-cutting collaboration between key European actors around social innovation
  • Both EU policy-makers and Member State authorities should leave the event with a sense of:
    • The importance of social enterprises for the European economy and its competitiveness
    • The needs of social enterprises
    • What should be done in the years to come to address the remaining bottlenecks (a roadmap from stakeholders addressed to EU institutions)

Please use the registration form to apply.

Attendance to the event is free for all, but registered participants are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation costs. See below for more information.



Thursday 16 January afternoon – Information: Workshops

Workshops of information and debate will be organized by the services of the Commission and the EESC. The themes will be divided into four main groups, after both the GECES experts and the expected participants in the conference have had the possibility to indicate their preferences regarding the themes via the online registration tool.

  1. Microfinance and social entrepreneur’s stakeholder forum on green economy
  2. Improving the access to funding
  3. Increasing the visibility of social economy
  4. Improving the regulatory framework

Thursday 16 January afternoon – Conversation: OpenSpaces

If you have a theme / question / topic which is important to you but is not covered among the themes of the workshops, you can organise a special mini-workshop in OpenSpace (Want to know more about OpenSpace? Click here). In this case, you need only to bring your theme and interest with you; once here, you will be facilitated in posting your theme to invite other participants to join your conversation. (If you do not have a theme yet, you are welcome to participate in OpenSpace by joining the conversations posted that are of interest to you, as well as by coming up with a theme on-site).

Harvesting: presentation of the process(119 KB)  

Friday 17 January afternoon – Coaching sessions

To foster connections between social entrepreneurs around resolution of concrete projects (“Hold-ups” by CommonsSense). More info soon.

Friday 17 January afternoon – Field visits

Field visits of local social enterprises in Alsace and Baden-Württemberg. More info soon.



Strasbourg Convention Centre (“Palais des Congrès”), close to the European Parliament. More information.

The Strasbourg Convention Centre on Google Maps.

Transport to Strasbourg

Attendance to the event is free for all, but registered participants are expected to cover their own travel costs.


Information from the tourism office

Attendance to the event is free for all, but registered participants are expected to cover their own travel costs.

Important: since the event will take place during a session of the European Parliament, the organizers are conscious that the demand of accommodation in Strasbourg will be important. That is why, at the end of your on-line application for registration, you will receive an email of confirmation which will redirect you towards a dedicated Web site from the Strasbourg Convention centre, which, at the request of the organizers, pre-reserved for the participants in the event hundreds of hotel rooms of all categories in Strasbourg for the nights of Wednesday 15th, Thursday 16th and Friday 17th January.


Throughout the event, you will have the opportunity to visit information stands. Here is a list of these stands, and a map showing there position on the 1st floor of the Convention centre.

Interpretation and Web Streaming

All activities in the room Erasme (plenary + workshops 4 & 7 + night owl) will be interpreted in 6 languages: English EN – French FR – German DE – Italian IT and Spanish ES + international sign language (+ Greek passively).

Workshop 12 in the room Schweitzer will be interpreted in 4 languages: English EN – French FR – Italian IT and Spanish ES (+ German and Greek passively).

Live and post-event webstreaming will be available in a dedicated webpage (available soon).

Webstreaming will be available in 5 languages EN-FR-DE-ES-Sign language for Erasme, and in 4 languages EN-FR-ES-IT for Schweitzer:

During the workshops in other rooms, consecutive interpretation will be available, if necessary, in FR or in ES; please refer to the table(116 KB)  .


4 Local Pre-Events in the EU

In the run up to Strasbourg 2014 CommonsSense, in partnership with the Commission, will be running four pilot “Have Your Say!” events in four cities across the EU – Athens, Budapest, Lisbon and Vilnius. These events aim to start the discussions, gaining the opinions and ideas of the young people and the social entrepreneurs on the ground. They also aim to help support and develop the ecosystem of social enterprise in these cities. They will use participative, creative methodologies to bring people together to work on solutions to barriers to social enterprise. For details please contact

Side Events

City of Strasbourg
More information soon
Euclid: Together to find solutions to local social problems!
Find ideas together with social entrepreneurs innovators from all over Europe. Join-us at Euclid’ Network’s next event on the 15th January 2014 in Strasbourg. More information here. Stay tuned!
Once Fundación
1st European Award for Social Entrepreneurship and Disability (SE+D)(73 KB)  

Useful Links


  1. 4SIB | Annotary on 7 de January de 2014 at 22:21

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