European Social Economy Awards 2021

Next October:
red carpet for social economy actors

Social Economy Europe (SEE) is proud to introduce the first edition of the European Social Economy Awards.

The European Social Economy Awards recognise social economy enterprises and organisations that support and enrich communities by making a contribution to society in tackling some of today’s biggest societal, environmental and technological challenges.

The Awards, to be replicated every two years, aim at raising the visibility of the social economy, in its whole diversity and across various sectors and countries, with a European focus and including initiatives from the Western Balkans, the Eastern Partnership, EFTA countries, the UK, Turkey, Southern Mediterranean Countries and the Russian Federation. The Awards will also serve as inspiration to other social economy actors, public authorities and citizens aiming at becoming entrepreneurs, activists and change-makers.

These prestigious Social Economy Awards will have three categories:

Social Innovation: including organisations which work towards the inclusion of vulnerable or marginalised individuals, people with disabilities, migrants, individuals far from the labour market; and/or  organisations providing innovative social services of general interest and solutions to social issues.

Green Transition: for organisations working towards a Green and Just Transition, while upholding the values of the social economy. This can include renewable energy, housing, sustainable mobility, the circular economy, water management, sustainable food production among many others.

Digitalisation and Skills: for organisations working on upskilling and reskilling of social economy employees, potential entrepreneurs students etc. to prepare them for the jobs in a digital future. This category also embraces social economy initiatives operating in the digital economy or with an important focus on technological innovation. Both dimensions upskilling/reskilling human capital and technological innovation will be taken into account.

Applications for each one of these categories can be submitted here by Monday 6 September at 14:00 CEST.

A balanced jury formed by social economy experts, researchers, and representatives of EU Institutions will select three finalists for each category. One member of each organisation selected as finalists will be invited for to the in-person/hybrid ceremony on October 12, in Slovenia.

Who is eligible? Social economy enterprises and organisations, such as cooperatives, mutuals, associations, foundations, social enterprises, ethical and alternative banks and financiers, micro-credit institutions, labour societies and other similar social economy forms; whose head office is located in an EU-27 Member State or in the following regions: the Western Balkans, the Eastern Partnership, Turkey, Southern Mediterranean Countries, the Russian Federation the UK and the EFTA Member States, which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Social Economy Europe President, Juan Antonio Pedreño has declared: 

“After more than a year of global pandemic, we still face a complex scenario but with strong reasons to have hope in the future. Collectively, the social economy community has done a lot to provide solutions, solidarity and relief during these unprecedented times. We have never stopped putting our energy, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit at the service of an economy that works for people and the planet and a citizens’ led green and digital transitions. In this context, from SEE we believe that we have reasons to celebrate our collective achievements and boost their visibility. This is why SEE General Assembly has decided to introduce the first edition of the European Social Economy Awards. “

Become a Sponsor

In this key year for the future of the EU Social Economy, SEE calls on social economy enterprises and institutions engaged in the promotion of the social economy to support these first edition of the EU Social Economy Awards by becoming sponsors. Should you be interested in becoming a sponsor of the EU Social Economy Awards, please send an e-mail to

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