Project Details

Title: Mechanism for Enhancement of Synergy and Sustainability among Enterprises
Priority: 1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Theme: Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Type of intervention

Type of intervention: 1: Regional Initiative Project
Mini-programme: No
Duration: 1st Jan 2012 - 31st Dec 2014


Total budget: €1,592,235.33
ERDF contribution: €1,237,011.76

Lead partner

Veneto Region
Fondamenta S.Lucia Cannaregio, 23
30121, Venice

  • Click for contact details
    • Contact Person: Nadia Giaretta
      Phone: 0039 41 2795804
      Fax: 0039 41 2795808

Project summary

The idea of working together on the improvement of the regional development policies for the economic and qualitative growth of the social entrepreneurship has started within Interreg IVC PEOPLE project that has identified Agency for the Sustainability of Social Enterprise (Veneto) and Hampshire School for Social Entrepreneurs as good practices. Both institutions have the aim of improving the social entrepreneurship facilitating coordination and cooperation between Social Enterprises -SE-, public authorities and companies at local level.

Many initiatives in this sector have been conducted in the past, but in a more isolated way, mostly on local and regional level. The MESSE partnership has identified the need for joint action and exchange of experiences in a partnership with different strengths and needs so they could all actively learn from each other.


The overall objective and the main aim of the Project MESSE is to improve the effectiveness of regional development policies

for the economic and qualitative growth of social entrepreneurship in Europe. The exchange, sharing and transfer of policy experience, knowledge and good practices will contribute to achieving this objective.


The social entrepreneurship (the 3rd sector) is defined as the fastest growing force in the Old Member States, important because of its strong impact on the growth of regional economy and because of its Social Return On Investment -SROI-, a monetary value of social, community and environmental impacts.

New Member States demonstrate clear interest for the development of the sector, but the concept is still not clarified and legislative framework should come after the assessment of the existing experiences.


The partnership covers wide EU area: it is made of 9 partners coming from 9 different regions, 9 different "new and old" Memeber States (IT, EL, ES, RO, HU, BG, SE, DE, UK), all local, regional, national authorities and opinion leaders with strong influence

on their policy makers.

The core activities of the project are divided in three parts:

1. Interregional analysis of the sector;

2. Identification of existing good practices for support of synergies between SE, companies and public authorities (such as structures, support services, legislative and tax instruments);

3. Interregional study visits and focus groups as catalyst for increased regional competitiveness.

A very limited part of the project consists of a pilot action – experimentation of a MESSE mentoring system introduced by the partnership, through the joint MESSE Net Internet portal.


The main result of the project will be improved policy making processes by adopting evidence-based making, the creation of MESSE network for long term collaboration among the regions involved, and increased knowledge about the sector among key stakeholders. The project will also result in increased number of support services for enterprises and tailor made solutions for the third sector.

Project achievements

MESSE kicked off in Venice on April 2012 with a two days meeting and a press conference organized by the lead partner, the Veneto Region.

In the first period of project implementation, activities have been based on basic level of cooperation and PPs were involved in traditional networking including activities such as study visits, seminars, interregional conferences, development of publicity materials. To draw the public attention towards the project activities, the partnership has dedicated many efforts during the project life to communication and publicity: an ad hoc Communication & Mass Media Office (CMMO) was created to play a decisive role in optimizing the results in such this activities. In addition 4 Interregional Conference took place:

- October 2012 ,Hungary, on the theme “Social Cooperation in times of crisis”;

- March 2013, Romania, on the theme “Social Entrepreneurship: the challenge of a big idea to become successful. The importance of training in social enterprises”;

- July 2014, Bulgaria, on the theme “Supportive structures for SE development”;

- September 2014, Italy, on the theme “Social Enterprises added value into the social-economic context”.

The CMMO supervised the project’s promotion strategy and supported PPs in implementing communication and publicity activities. MESSE focused on a higher degree of cooperation while exchanging winning experiences in the field of social entrepreneurship and developing the MESSE Mentoring System and MESSE Net platform. Almost 40 GPs across 9 EU regions have been identified and deepened in occasion of 7 study visit across Europe: Italy (April 2012), Hungary (October 2012), Romania (March 2013), Sweden (May 2013), UK (July 2013) Spain (September 2013), Greece (November 2013), Germany (February 2014). The GP selected have been reviewed and included in a useful publication that have been helping partners,mentors and main stakeholders in organizing the exchange of experiences. In 2014 bilateral transfer


meetings between partners have been organized at this purpose: winning experiences of social entrepreneurship and public policies in support of its growth have been exchanged. This process ended its first phase (on-the-spot visits and first contacts) in September 2014 but it will last even beyond the end of the project since several interesting importing paths are still ongoing.

The aim is to ensure that the project exchange of experiences inspires policies improvement in the partner regions in a long term perspective; this will require a tangible commitment for several months more.

In 2014 MESSE partners have been involved both on the exchange of experiences and on the MESSE Net pilot action implementation. The overall aim is to pilot mentoring’ services addressing SEs in their start-up or internationalization phase through an Internet platform which is on line from June 2014. The MESSE Net contains a census of the SEs which have been involved in the project and all the umbrella

organizations which supports PPs in enhancing synergies among enterprises and boost social entrepreneurship policy and models. The MESSE Net provides a space for sharing information between SMEs, facilitates the dissemination of funding opportunities for SEs and provide a collaborative space for the development of new initiatives thanks to the Mentor activity. Mentors have been appointed in each partner region and they are at disposal to give assistance on start-up of SEs and internationalization of existing ones. The portal aims at representing a space were to find “light consultancy services” provided by qualified experts (Mentors), and useful information for the SE development. It acts also as “public library" a list of thousands of organizations.

Although the project final event took place in Venice (Italy) on 25 September 2014, partners are still working on the project, promoting MESSE Net and its services and capitalizing MESSE benefits and success at local level.



Institution, Town Country Region Contact details
Veneto Region, Venice ITALY Veneto 0039 41 2795804
Region of Attica, Athens GREECE Attiki 302132065212
Andalucian Government, Sevilla SPAIN Andalucía 00 34 955 04 82 66
Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and the Elderly, Bucharest ROMANIA Bucuresti - Ilfov 40213146937
Pannon Business Network Association, Győr HUNGARY Nyugat-Dunantul 0036 94 505 003
Sofia Municipality, Sofia BULGARIA Yugozapaden 35929041385
Region Ӧstergӧtland (formely: East Sweden Region), Linköping SWEDEN Östra Mellansverige 0046(0)10-103 00 00 (from 1/1/15)
Adult Education Centre of Hannover, Hannover GERMANY Hannover 4951116845658
Action Hampshire, Winchester UNITED KINGDOM Hampshire and Isle of Wight 4401962857350


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