Thus, the inactivity of resources at the level of covering basic needs of food, shelter and social care is one of the main causes of the problem of stagnation of economic activity. The state and the market cannot cover all the needs of society. The complementarity of the social economy, through the rational approach of exploiting inactive resources by social enterprises, can certainly fill the gap and would benefit both the public and private sectors, given the expansion of employment and consumption . Precisely because complementarity will further have positive effects on the level of mass consumption and also on the expansion of the tax base. Thus claiming the reduced cost of transactions arises the need for the development of the social economy.
Many admit that the policy of benefits to people who have the ability to work is not the right social solution. The generally accepted right policy is interventionism to create new jobs. Therefore, the desired goal should always be, in relation to the appropriate incentives, the strengthening of entrepreneurship that expands employment. And this is what social enterprises can achieve based on reduced transaction costs.
Subsidies from the European Social Fund can be given to cover a part of the labor costs of employees, in social enterprises as leverage for the mobilization of inactive human resources.
This should be the request and the request to every government from the side of the Local Government, but also from the organizations of the Civil Society with the aim of strengthening the social enterprises.
The synergies of local government social enterprises and “Social Development Partnerships”
The local government owns common areas, as we mentioned elsewhere. It owns municipal lands, Mountains, forests, rivers, seashores, squares and buildings. These are material resources that objectively belong to the citizens. These resources can only be utilized to a limited extent with municipal enterprises, while it is possible to utilize them on a larger scale through synergies between municipal enterprises and social enterprises.
First of all, in the energy sector, through energy communities (Energy cooperatives) it can proceed on a large scale by utilizing new technologies, for renewable energy sources, drastically reducing up to 70% the cost of electricity in every local community, business and household .
In the area of agri-food local self-sufficiency, providing land and infrastructure support to social agricultural cooperatives can improve local income and local self-sufficiency.
In the health-social care sector, creating infrastructures for social enterprises Health and social care, strengthening preventive health, social care and combating poverty.
In the environment sector, alongside eco-protection, to utilize the natural environment. with green entrepreneurship in forest and ecosystem management.
In the field of internet and digital work, strengthening initiatives for Digital Citizen Service Advisory Centers, with the aim of supporting new social enterprises.
In the social housing sector, offering land and housing infrastructure to housing cooperatives.
In the field of cultural entrepreneurship where there is a tradition of intervention by the Local Government. To cultural parks of leisure and entertainment in the context of social entrepreneurship.
Such an approach at the level of local government requires in principle to have a political agenda of the social economy. Specific funds in the annual budget and recording of available resources for social entrepreneurship.
Creation of TA interventions Agenda
Recording and planning of utilization of inactive resources
Collaborative solidarity networks
Participatory processes of gathering social and intellectual capital.
Knowledge management and dissemination structures.
Based on a local vision and development plan of the social economy, it is necessary to inventory the inactive resources and needs in each Municipality. So that the available material infrastructures are known in the local community and that this works as a diagnostic tool for Municipal Councils and other local bodies. In order to take initiatives to exploit the comparative advantages of the region.
Another condition for the development of the social economy in local government is the municipal social economy networks at the National and European level, so that the initiatives can be institutionally supported.
The complex task of mobilizing human resources and networking social enterprises from all sides – citizens, consumers, professionals, producers, social agencies of Local Government needs to be served by a system of networking and organization. Therefore, we would say that we are dealing with an open call to local collectives to participate in social entrepreneurship with the support of the Local Government.
There are thousands of civil society organizations in every country that offer practical help to the homeless, drug addicts, immigrants, the elderly, the disabled and various vulnerable social groups. But without often having a local plan that will increase the possibilities. However, to the extent that the social economy is on the agenda of the Local Government, more human and material resources can be mobilized.
And this objectively can only be done through the structures of the social economy and social entrepreneurship as this form of entrepreneurship ensures reduced production costs and reduced transaction costs. Finally, reduced costs are the foundation for sustainability in areas that cannot be met by private entrepreneurship and wage labor.
In conclusion, municipal interventionism, to support social enterprises, can reduce the cost of public services, create local employment where the state and the market fail, reduce transaction costs and ensure the sustainability of services where there is no other way out. Based on this institutional framework and the synergy with Local Government, Civil Society organizations can acquire a more dynamic role where they become, at least at the national level, an equal interlocutor in the social dialogue, regarding the distribution of resources and in particular the European Social Fund.
The ultimate goal is to boost the social income and the so-called “social wage” of citizens with benefits in services as a counterbalance in an era of declining demand for wage labor and precision, in basic livelihood goods.
by Vasilis Taktikos