Employment in Brussels – the social economy to obtain a place of its own soon
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    Employment in Brussels – the social economy to obtain a place of its own soon

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The Brussels parliament should adopt an ordinance by the summer, which should give the social economy a place in its own right in the face of the ‘classical’ economy. The reform should be fully operational by 2018, announced the Brussels Minister of Economy and Employment, Didier Gosuin (DéFI), on Monday morning.

    “It is a question of breaking the glass ceiling, which has so far restricted social economy enterprises to social integration alone, through pilot projects and structural subsidies,” Gosuin said on Monday morning.

    According to him, the social economy is booming, currently experiencing a 6% increase in the number of companies of this type between 2008 and 2014 in Brussels, a record in Belgium. In 2015, there were 750 companies with 18,400 jobs (+25% in six years).

    Taking advantage of the regionalisation of this skill, Minister Gosuin proposed to the regional government that this progress should be accompanied by the definition of a series of standards based on the three fundamental principles of these enterprises: carrying out an economic project, having a social purpose and being in accordance with the rules of democratic governance.

    According to the Minister of Economy and Employment, recognition as a social enterprise will open the door to various economic support schemes such as a subsidy rate increased by 10% in aid for investment, training or consultancy; an annual call for innovative projects with half a million euros provided in 2017; an accompaniment to social entrepreneurship within the future agency for the Accompaniment of the Company, access to finance products by Finance.brussels, etc.

    The accreditation procedure will be relaxed.

    Social economy enterprises will have a prominent place in the employment subsidies granted under the future policy of the target groups.

    Didier Gosuin also announced a stabilisation over time of the financing of integration programs developed by certain social enterprises.

    Social economy enterprises will now be fully recognised in the Economic and Social Council of the Brussels-Capital Region.

    Sarah Johansson
    The Brussels Times