Strengthening Civil Society Participation in Social Enterprise Education and Development or CSO–SEED aims 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 is currently being 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, aims to 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 will in turn deliver an innovative approach to the areas of decent work and job creation. 

The approach offers 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 aims to establish an enabling environment for social enterprises to flourish. CSO–SEED will accomplish this by 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 will conduct four local and one national policy dialogues as part of the project engagement.

Capacity building for social enterprise support services

Our consortium will create 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 will be 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 will be implemented to support components 1 and 2. The first element of the SEED fund focuses on advocacy, awareness raising and strategic partnerships. The second element of the SEED fund is 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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