Specifically in 2012, more than two million euros (2,041,350) euros will be earmarked to promoting projects and activities associated with self-employment, the social economy and corporate social responsibility. This money will be managed by the non-profit organisations and public and private universities whose projects are selected via the tender published on Monday in the Official State Gazette.
"This financial aid is intended to help drive entrepreneurship in Spain, so all those activities that foster the entrepreneurial spirit through self-employment, the social economy and corporate social responsibility will be given priority. Furthermore, any action aimed at commemorating 2012 as the 'International Year of Cooperatives' will also be considered priority", said Miguel Ángel García Martín, Director-General for Self-Employment, the Social Economy and Corporate Social Responsibility.
All projects that have taken place in 2012 will be considered and the maximum amount per project will be between 50,000 and 150,000 euros, depending on the activity
The activities and programmes subject to receiving financial aid are as follows:
• Support and advice to entrepreneurs, the self-employed and promoters of the social economy;
• Programmes aimed at fostering the entrepreneurial spirit, self-employment, the social economy and corporate social responsibility;
• Training activities aimed at initiating, perfecting and qualifying knowledge in terms of self-employment, the social economy and corporate social responsibility;
• Programmes aimed at spreading and promoting knowledge, research projects, etc.
Through the Directorate-General of Self-Employment, the Social Economy and Corporate Social Responsibility, the Ministry of Employment will earmark a total of 1,477,970 euros to offset part of the structural costs incurred by inter-sectoral associations and entities at a State level that provide information, accompaniment and consultancy services, among others, to the self-employed and social entrepreneurs via their network of offices.
Specifically, 315,000 euros will be earmarked to self-employment associations and 1,162,970 euros will be given to the various entities in the social economy that represent cooperatives, employee-owned companies, insertion companies and other representative bodies of the social economy at a State level.
Finally and for the preparation of State training plans for the self-employed and social economy workers, a line of financial aid has been planned that will exceed 8.5 million euros (8,521,216) in 2012.
Those inter-sectoral training plans aimed specifically at workers and stakeholders in the social economy will receive 4,260,608 euros. Similarly, the same amount has been earmarked for the implementation of inter-sectoral training plans for the self-employed.
2012, International Year of Cooperatives
All these activities form part of the International Year of Cooperatives. From the outset his initiative has been supported by the Government of Spain, which has been demonstrating its commitment to the social economy and self-employment ever since it came to power.
Fostering the entrepreneurial spirit also represents one of the main priorities for this Government, which is currently finalising its Entrepreneurship and Youth Employment Strategy 2012-2015. The aim of the strategy is to combine efforts on combating the high rate of youth unemployment and will include all those public and private activities, as well as initiatives that are aimed at improving employability and job opportunities for young Spaniards.
The measures that have already been implemented to promote self-employment and the social economy include the option to capitalise up to 100% of the unemployment benefit for young people who wish to set themselves up as self-employed professionals. Similarly, this year approval was given to offering those relatives working for self-employed professionals who register under the Special Regime of the Social Security system (Spanish acronym: RETA), the option to receive a 50% subsidy on their social security contributions for the first 18 months.