Nouvelle qui intéressera nos lectrices et lecteurs du blogue : « Cyprus passes Social Enterprise Law » (par Alexandra Fougala-Metaxa, Pioneer Post, 30 mars 2021).
Social enterprises in Cyprus now have their own legal framework. In December 2020, the House of Representatives of Cyprus passed, for the first time, a Social Enterprise Law. The bill was initially introduced in 2013 and it has taken seven years for it to be approved, reportedly due to many modifications, debates and delays.
Prior to this, Cyprus had no legal framework for social enterprises. According to a social enterprise mapping report for Cyprus, carried out by the European Commission, there were only seven organisations that could be described as ‘social enterprises’ in Cyprus in 2014. A recent survey by CyprusInno of entrepreneurs in the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities found that 11% of the 359 entrepreneurs surveyed said they ran social enterprises.
Maria Nomikou, the youth, skills and inclusive communities sector lead for Europe at the British Council, says: “A law on social enterprises can have a very positive impact as it fosters visibility, growth and the development of this type of business.”
Visibility surrounding social enterprises is key to encouraging the growth of the sector in Cyprus. For years, the lack of a legal definition of the term social enterprise meant that social enterprises in Cyprus operated as either limited liability companies or charities. The problem with this, as identified by Andrea Solomonides, the lead of Cyprus operations at enterprise support organisation Cypriot Enterprise Link, was it created an image problem – many people did not think that working full time for social enterprises was financially sustainable, and thus the sector struggled to attract staff.
A law defining social enterprises as separate, unique entities, distinct from other types of businesses or non-profits, helps increase awareness. The law also means that social enterprises will have access to EU grants available only to the social enterprise sector, and receive various tax benefits, which, Maria Nomikou hopes, will motivate people to set up their own social enterprises.
(…) The definition of social enterprises under the new law is as enterprises with a social cause that reinvest a proportion of their profits back into their work, or enterprises that hire a certain proportion of their staff from vulnerable groups.
À la prochaine…
Ce contenu a été mis à jour le 29 avril 2021 à 15 h 30 min.