The cabinet has approved a bill aiming at introducing social enterprise in Cyprus, which has €3.1m in funding from the European Social Fund, Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides announced on Thursday.
In a press conference, the minister said the idea of social enterprise is a new way of business aimed at offering goods and services to the market in a bid to serve social or environmental goals.
According to Petrides, this will create new jobs, reduce social exclusion of vulnerable groups, introduce high-quality services with a social angle and lay the groundwork for social innovation.
Social enterprises will be divided into two groups – general purpose social enterprises aimed to promote positive social or environmental actions and social inclusion enterprises which will aim to hire at least 40 per cent of their staff from vulnerable groups.
“One in four new business persons in the EU are social entrepreneurs,” Petrides said, stipulating that they hire over 11 million persons across the EU block representing 10 per cent of GDP.
The cabinet approved the bill on January 9 and is set to head to plenum in April. An action plan for social enterprise until 2020 has been prepared by the European University.