This project is co-funded
by the European Union

Promoting social entrepreneurship in the Mediterranean region


Sustainable growth and employment are common concerns among the partner countries in the southern Mediterranean region, where 5 million jobs need to be created on a yearly basis to ensure social inclusion. The largest reservoir of jobs remains within the 6 million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that account for 90% of total employment, but still have a minor contribution to sustainable growth. The creation of more productive and efficient enterprises can fuel economic growth and create demand for skilled labour, generate better-paid jobs and contribute to social stability.

Boosting economic inclusiveness, employability and job creation through social enterprises, require capable business support institutions, inclusive financing mechanisms, serious engagement of unconventional stakeholders (such as municipalities, private sector businesses and academia), meaningful collaboration at a national, regional and international levels, in addition to an evidence-based policy, an enabling legal environment, and a transparent and accountable regulatory mechanisms in favor of social justice and economic development, adapted to local contexts and conditions.



Promote an enabling environment in the Southern Mediterranean partner countries for the development of the social entrepreneurship sector as a driver for inclusive growth and job creation.


Increase economic inclusiveness and employment in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine where adequate policies on social entrepreneurship are in place, public-private dialogue and exchanges of practices are promoted and high quality services for social enterprises are provided.


At Macro Level: Promoting country and cross-country policy and advocacy initiatives and public-private dialogue to create an enabling regulatory and policy environments

At Meso Level: Reinforcing 60 social entrepreneurship support organizations through capacity-building and networking activities

At Micro Level: Providing financial and technical support to 100 social enterprises.


  • Carry-out national and regional analyses of the main social entrepreneurship perceptions, actors and priorities including barriers to, and economic impact of, women and youth entering the regional labour force.
  • Conduct policy and advocacy initiatives on the importance of social entrepreneurship as a mechanism for inclusive growth and job creation at national and cross-country level.
  • Enhance public-private debate and stimulate initiatives and policies supporting social entrepreneurship for women and youth.
  • Conduct national needs assessment and provide capacity building for targeted social entrepreneurship support organizations.
  • Provide technical support to develop innovative products and services targeting social enterprises.
  • Promote networking activities between social entrepreneurship support organizations and local financial institutions.
  • Organize exchange and networking events between public and private key stakeholders and their counterparts in the EU and in the Southern neighbourhood.
  • Set up sub granting schemes for financial support to selected social enterprises.
  • Provide technical assistance services for the development of viable social enterprises.
  • Collect good practices of promising social enterprises and disseminating them at national, regional and European level.
  • Define a strategy for the replication of successful social enterprises.

News from the joint meeting MedUP! and YPE projects. Florence, 2nd - 5th July

MedUP! has been involved in the organisation, together with the Danish-Arab Partnership Programme, of the four days meeting within the YPE Project learning event: youth participation, employment and social enterprises in the MENA Region, hold in Florence from the 2nd to the 5th of July.

The four days event, within the YPE annual meeting, has been a very intense learning experience. All Countries involved and its partners had the chance to listen and learn from each other experiences. A mixer of ideas, inputs, good practices, questions, doubts etc.

The meeting started with a day trip to Pistoia. For the occasion, we visited five local Social Enterprises of different kinds: language school at, kids’ interventional education, manufacturing with marginalized people and preservation of ancient manufacturing traditions.

Divided into groups, we had the opportunity to listen to their stories and challenges, getting to know their services, but most of all their people and souls. It has been very inspiring for all Partners, other than an important lesson learned to bring back to their Home Country.

From the second day on, we moved to conference and debated modality, going through a number of case studies, presented by each Country partner that highlighted some of the pragmatic strategies and impacts of YPE program approach. Later on, delegates of the Yunus Social Business Centre University of FlorenceARCO Action Research for CO-development Banca EticaRegione Toscana and Giovanisì – Regione Toscana presented case-studies related to private and public experience on Social Entrepreneurship, focusing on: legal framework for SE, financing SE and multi-stakeholder approach for social economy. Finally Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine talked about their experience on community finance and social enterprises and entrepreneurial ecosystem for SE.

Third and second last day has been very intense. We first focused on some cross subjects, such as ‘mentoring and coaching’ for want-to-be social entrepreneurs. Also, we had the opportunity to listen to some experiences on how #Oxfam programs engaged with the private sector, such as: start up support and social innovation with Industrio and Centro per la Cooperazione Internazionale, coffee value chain and market governance in the Dominican Republic and Haiti with our colleague from Oxfam Haiti and finally, the partnership with Lavazza.

The third day ended with a very inspiring visit to the co-working space Impact Hub Florence, where our guide Dario told us their story, how the place was born and how they keep it a growing and sustainable place.

Finally, we dedicated the very last day to debates and discussions on consolidated learning and MEAL, which was very helpful for all Partners to start developing an action plan to strengthen youth participation, employment and social enterprise programs in the #MENA Region.


2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th July, a four days event that sees MedUP! involved within the YPE project (Youth Participation, Employment and Social Enterprise).
The event covers the annual meeting that commits Oxfam on two main thematic issues: social entrepreneurship and youth employment.
The event is the result of the partnership between two Oxfam projects operating in the MENA Region: Danish-Arab Partnership Program, funded by the Danish Government and MedUP!, funded by the European Union.
The first day, hold in Pistoia, foresees a field trip organized by the local Association “Un raggio di luce” and “Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia e Pescia”. For the occasion, more participants will have the opportunity to visit local social enterprises and cooperatives. This experience, will offer the chance to have a direct contact with Italian social enterprises, understanding their structure, market, challenges and potentials.
From the second day, the event will be hosted in Florence where there will be hold a number of debates, seminars and conference on social entrepreneurships for youth employment. On the occasion, there will be presented some SEs case studies in the Mediterranean Area.
Moreover, it will be discussed the role of the private sector in the social area, together with other key issues such as social enterprises mentoring, access to finance and policy.

This occasion offers MedUP! and Danish-Arab Partnership Program partners a great opportunity to learn and discuss with its peers and similar realities, and to Oxfam staff, that everyday deals with projects and events strictly related with economic justice issues in the MENA Region.
Finally, participation of external actors from the public and private sector working for the social entrepreneurship promotion as an inclusive growth engine, in Italy and abroad, will be a plus.


A special opportunity to partecipate to an inspiring North-South exchange experience on social entrepreneurship.

Beirut, 27th, 28th and 29th May 2019, it will take place the second MedUp! Coordination meeting.

The three days will represent an important occasion where all actors involved in the project will be together to discuss project achievements and learning after 1-year of implementation. Moreover, the event will allow to share partners’ visions and steers in order to improve operational and strategic aspects of the project.


Focus Group Discussions and Workshops – Jordan November 2018

November 21st, Oxfam Jordan organized a Focus Group Discussions and Workshop as part of the Country Study and Needs Assessment. The workshop was entitled “Challenges and Opportunities for Social Entrepreneurship in Jordan” . The discussion aimed at understanding the challenges and opportunities for Social Enterprises (SEs), and at identifying the support and capacity building needs of Social Enterprise Support Organizations (SESOs) in Jordan.















October 10-11, 2018
Coordination Meeting, Rabat.


Cristian Bevacqua, Regional Project Coordinator.

Silvana Grispino, Global Portfolio Manager.

Gianluca Bacci, Project Assistant.


This project is co-funded by the European Union

Consortium Leader


European Partners

Impact Hub
Euclid Network

Southern Mediterranean Partners


Associated Partners

Banca Etica
Regione Toscana
Regione Sardegna