This programme is now closed.


Strengthening Civil Society Participation in Social Enterprise Education and Development or CSO–SEED aimed to improve civil society participation in policy reforms to develop an environment conducive to decent work, job creation and small and medium enterprises (SME) development. The project will realise this goal by using social enterprise as a development pathway. 

CSO–SEED was implemented in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), along with other Bangsamoro areas in Mindanao. These are areas affected by conflict and underdevelopment for over four decades.

CSO–SEED, financed by the European Union and co-financed and implemented by the British Council, was designed to help build a stronger small and medium enterprise (SME) sector through the promotion of social enterprise, considered a sub-category of SME. The focus on social enterprise development was envisioned to deliver an innovative approach to the areas of decent work and job creation. 

The approach offered a sustainable and empowering way to support inclusive economic development, reducing barriers to economic security, particularly for vulnerable groups.

Project components

Coalition building and policy engagement 

Recognising the role of social enterprises in the development of an inclusive SME sector to offer decent work to a large number of people, this component established an enabling environment for social enterprises to flourish. CSO–SEED worked on identifying 20 advocacy-oriented CSOs in the trade and labour industry and provide them with skills knowledge and networks to support this agenda. CSO–SEED conducted four local and one national policy dialogues as part of the project engagement.

Capacity building for social enterprise support services

The consortium created a movement by assisting social enterprise leaders, capacity building CSOs, social enterprise interest groups and intermediaries, government agencies, financial institutions and private/business by enhancing their capacity to tackle issues around decent work, job creation and SME development. This was done through a bespoke leadership programme (for individuals) called Active Citizens and a business and investment readiness programme (for organisations). 

Small-scale support services (SEED fund)

To ensure CSOs are empowered and own the delivery of the project, a grant process was implemented to support components 1 and 2. The first element of the SEED fund focused on advocacy, awareness raising and strategic partnerships. The second element of the SEED fund was on business and investment readiness designed to strengthen intermediaries and business support CSOs to deliver support to social enterprises to grow and scale their impact.

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