Background report: "THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL FUND AND SOCIAL INCLUSION"
This research report presents the interventions of the European Social Fund (ESF) in the area of social inclusion.
Chapter 3 – ESF Interventions and Achievements
3A. Social inclusion targets for ESF support
I n the 2007-2013 programming period, there are also direct references to social inclusion in Article 3.1.c of the ESF Regulation n° 1081/200675: “reinforcing the social inclusion of disadvantaged people with a view to their sustainable integration in employment and combating all forms of discrimination in the labour market, in particular by promoting:
(i) pathways to integration and re-entry into employment for disadvantaged people, such as people experiencing social exclusion, early school leavers, minorities, people with disabilities and people providing care for dependent persons, through employability measures, including in the field of the social economy, access to vocational education and training, and accompanying actions and relevant support, community and care services that improve employment opportunities;
(ii) acceptance of diversity in the workplace and the combating of discrimination in accessing and progressing in the labour market, including through awareness-raising, the involvement of local communities and enterprises and the promotion of local employment initiatives.”
3D.2b Assistance to Systems
In a number of OPs, activities to improve employment are linked to improving the social economy and social entrepreneurship. This is the case in some new Member States such as Poland, Romania  and Bulgaria but also in other EU 15 countries such as Belgium , Greece  and Sweden.
Support to the social economy in Poland  and Bulgaria  is implemented through creating new jobs in the sector and supporting the establishment of social enterprises by providing start-up capital. These actions are linked to the creation of jobs for people from vulnerable groups. In Sweden  ESF is strengthening the support to NGOs, social cooperatives, mutual associations and other charity and voluntary organisations, to provide a flexible and sustainable tool that can help communities to achieve their own objectives. This is done through developing the tools and mechanisms needed to fully implement the concept of social economy, and supporting partnerships between all the stakeholders involved in community development (trade unions, public institutions, employers’ organisations, workers, the non-governmental sector, enterprises, the business environment, other associations etc.).
3E.2a Guidance and Counselling
p55: (...) One measure Finland  provides an example on how individuals in a weak position in the labour market were targeted for support. Participants included older people, long-term unemployed, unemployed people and students with disabilities, refugees, immigrants and ethnic minorities and people released from prison. They were supported with guidance and counselling services combined with rehabilitation, apprenticeships, vocational training and other measures. An important element of the approach was to nurture self-motivation and self-management skills and strategies. The approach was implemented in a number of locations. In some cases, social economy initiatives and cooperatives played an important role.
3E.2c Employment Supports
Among the specific mechanisms available to support job seeking are financial incentives to promote employment, grants to bolster job creation through local employment initiatives, the development of social economy organisations, and grants towards the creation of specific jobs for vulnerable groups.
p62: (...) Enabling people at risk of exclusion to enter or return to the labour market can also be achieved by boosting human potential and the services of NGOs and cooperatives which work with them. Small grants are often used in this field, as for example in the Italian Region of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia.
 CCI No. 2007BE052PO005, Priority Axis 2
 CCI No. 2007GR05UPO001, Priority Axis 1
 CCI No. 2007PL051PO001, Priority Axis 7
 CCI No. 2007BG051PO001, Priority Axis 5
 CCI No. 2007SE052PO001, Priority Axis 1
 CCI No. 1999FI053DO001, Measure 2.23