Project "I see: Interregional Social Enterprise Empowerment" is being implemented under the European Territorial Cooperation Program INTERREG V-A Greece-Bulgaria 2014-2020

The Eastern Macedonia - Thrace region in Greece and Smolyan region in Bulgaria are among the NUTS II regions with the lowest GDP in European Union, below than the 75% of the average GDP of EU 28. Strengthening social entrepreneurship can offer an alternative and viable solution for local development, employment of vulnerable groups as well as for tackling social problems that the two regions have (poverty, marginalization, social exclusion).

“I see” project main objective is the Support of social entrepreneurship in Eastern Macedonia - Thrace and Smolyan CBC regions by encouragement of social entrepreneurship and social inclusion and increasing employment in social groups in risk.

The project specific objectives are:

  • to establish support structures for social entrepreneurship
  • to develop support mechanism and appropriate tools for social enterprises
  • to build the capacity of social entrepreneurship consultants
  • to raise awareness for social entrepreneurship

The project outputs include:

  • Two support structures for social entrepreneurship, one in Xanthi and one in Smolyan.
  • Studies of the contribution and role of the social economy in the two regions incl. action plan and recommendations.
  • Support tools for the operation of the two support structures: a blended tool for the identification of needs and evaluation of social entrepreneurship ideas, a business guide for social entrepreneurship in the region, incl. interactive web-version, a franchising model
  • Capacity building activities for the staff of the support structures.
  • Awareness raising activities, including networking events, thematic workshops, transnational networking between social enterprises and the organisation of an info day at the end of the project, for the promotion of social entrepreneurship and the promotion of the social enterprises that will be formed by the end of the project.

The project demonstrates a clear added value from the cross border cooperation. Cross border cooperation is apparent in the project design, at multiple levels.

  • The partnership consists of competent organisations in the two regions, i.e. the two regional authorities, two NGOs from Thrace and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Smolyan.
  • The project activities include joint development of project results and outputs, joint staffing and financing of the operation.
  • The project envisages that the support structures will aim at establishing social enterprises that work in both regions, support collaboration between social enterprises in the two regions, common projects and promote franchising of social enterprises.

Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace


Active Citizens Cooperation


Urban non-profit company "Social Solidarity Network of the Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace" "STIRIKSI"


Region of Smolyan


Smolyan Chamber of Commerce and Industry


Greece - Bulgaria 2014-2020

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Greece-Bulgaria 2014-2020 logo

The Cooperation Programme INTERREG V-A "Greece-Bulgaria 2014-2020" is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and national funds of the countries partcipating in it. This webpage has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of the webpage are sole responsibility of LP and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, the participating countries the Managing Authority and the Joint Secretariat


Contact Information

Kakoulidou 1, 69100, East Macedonia and Thrace, Greece

(+30) 25313 52101

(+30) 25313 52101



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