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Sovvenzione globale CRES

Global grants for an integrated action – Italy

Global grants are a positive and successful tool used throughout Italy to promote the development of work integration social enterprises (WISEs), and are the sole example of integrated use of EU, national and regional funds.

In essence, global grants (sovvenzione globali) delegate management of a sum of money to an intermediate body that is in close touch with local actors. They are used, preferably, for actions in favour of local development (social integration, services to enterprises, equal opportunities, strengthening of the third sector).

ESF rules provide that intermediary bodies should be local bodies with significant experience in the field, and must know how to involve the people their measures aim to benefit. They can for example be coalitions among third sector organisations, social enterprises and their representative networks, local authorities, regional bodies and credit institutions.

“Small Subsidy” global grants operate in nearly all regions of Italy and support the integration and permanent employment of vulnerable members of the workforce. The instruments used are: business start-up, self-entrepreneurship, self-employment, the creation of branch companies and training to increase workers’ skills.

One example is the CRES global grant, which was innovative in itself, since it combined three types of financing: from the EU (ESF), Lombardy and the Fondazione Cariplo. It has supported 107 projects creating 447 jobs for vulnerable people in social enterprises. A case in point is the "Ri-Ordino" project in Como, where the social cooperative FUTURA has teamed up with a major supermarket chain to improve the e-commerce home delivery service. Created to solve the daily shopping problems of elderly and disabled people, the service will be accessible to all.