Corporate Responsibility


28 June, 2017

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Support and development of social enterprises through the “Guarantees Fund”

Support and development of social enterprises through the “Guarantees Fund”

The Cooperative Bank of Epirus, jointly with the Cooperative Bank of Karditsa, the Cooperative Bank of Chania and the Karditsa Development SA, established the non-profit under the name Quality Assurance and Social and Medium-Sized Economy Companies Network Civil Company (SEE GR).

This initiative aims at attracting and mobilizing capital and other resources for support and development of Social Enterprises, as well as very small or small enterprises, in order to render them viable and able to effectively use available financial resources, creating jobs and wealth, while performing social or environmental work. SEE GR is one of the pilot social finance projects supported and funded by the European Commission.

The establishment of the civil company is the first step towards the development of a “Hellenic Social Enterprises Guarantees Fund”, which will be tailored to the needs of social economy enterprises in Greece.

The vision of the “Guarantees Fund” is to become the leading Finance tool for social enterprises in Greece, providing, when fully developed, a wide range of financial and non-financial services to social enterprises.

The key features of the Fund are excellence of the services and products offered, transparency of processes and operating procedures and commitment to support sustainable and innovative projects, which aim at effectively addressing social needs.

The development of the “Guarantees Fund” will be based on “bottom-up” planning processes, with the aim of supporting the creation of innovative and self-sustaining social enterprises, capable of creating decent and sustainable jobs through the provision of services and products to local communities on a long-term basis.

To this end, the partners have committed to work in order to:

  • provide liquidity to Social Enterprises;
  • encourage Social Enterprises to invest in fixed assets, mainly in equipment;
  • enhance the capabilities and the sufficiency of social enterprises, in order to complete their business plan;
  • activate the capacity of Greek Cooperative Banks to provide essential and systematic solutions to social enterprises and to effectively contribute to local and regional development;
  • develop the right strategies and products to attract the right quantity and quality of capital, which will be made available for the needs of social enterprises and will ensure the viability of the Fund;
  • provide a reliable and transparent channel for social and institutional investors to invest in projects with a positive social impact;
  • develop tools, mechanisms and procedures to improve the skills and competence for the social enterprise evaluation process and to spread this culture to institutional capital providers;
  • provide reliable methodologies and tools for assessing the social impact and the social return of investments;
  • set up a network of stakeholders in the implementation and/or support of social enterprises and use its resources in the implementation stages of the projects, in order to avoid the risk of failure.
  • To contribute to the development of a social financing corporate model based on trust, through which:
    • Cooperative banks will provide long-term maturity funds in the form of loans, tailored to the needs of social enterprises.
    • The Social Entrepreneurship “Guarantees Fund” will provide guarantees to the banks.
    • Appropriate social enterprises support organizations will provide start-up, business development and social impact management support services, which will accompany the loans provided under the guarantee of the Fund.
    • The Social Entrepreneurship Center of Excellence will coordinate the activities of the different partners through common rules, will ensure the quality of services through networking, training and consulting support, and will ensure quality management through compliance monitoring.