FOSO POCO - Fostering Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystems Post-Covid-19

Cork City Council, Malta Enterprises and Tartu City Council have commenced a new year-long EU-funded project focused on social entrepreneurship in 2021. FOSO-POCO focuses on creating better understanding of the conditions for social entrepreneurship by directly involving relevant actors and stakeholders in efforts to identify and address existing gaps in the supports for social enterprises.

Co-funded by the COSME Programme of the EUflag_yellow_low[1]

Objectives of FOSO-POCO

The project has 3 specific objectives:

  1. Creating better understanding of the state-of-play and potential of social entrepreneurship locally, by identifying and directly involving the relevant stakeholders and the use of best practices and expert involvement to address existing gaps in supports available;
  2. Assisting promising social enterprises to pilot, pitch and internationalise their product or services through the networks of the project partners;
  3. Establishing local supports to assist social enterprises in a post-Covid economy which hopefully results in furthering their viability and job creation prospects.

Our partners and what we will be doing?

The partners in this project are Tartu City Council, Cork City Council and Malta Enterprise, who will act as lead partner.  Each partner will organise a number of stakeholder meetings where gaps in the support services available to social enterprises are mapped and analysed. A peer review of the situation in each of the 3 participating countries will be undertaken by the stakeholders. A survey of local stakeholders is also being conducted. The findings from these meetings will be presented and shared at 3 workshops organised by the partners from Ireland, Malta and Estonia and where local and national stakeholders can participate.


Cork is a vibrant and dynamic city located in the south of Ireland. It is a regional hub full of enterprise and creativity and is home to over 200,000 people. See Cork-City-Council-VERTICAL-LOGO-(002)


Tartu is the 2nd biggest city in Estonia with nearly 100 000 inhabitants. The city has a unique innovation and business environment with strong cooperation between universities, public sector and enterprises.

Also, Tartu is the Cultural Capital of Europe 2024!tt_logo_w-(002)



As part of the project we are carrying out a short online survey of organisations working in the field of social enterprise in Malta, Ireland and Estonia. The survey results will be used in the preparation of the final report that will inform national and EU policies in this area and is of particular interest to policy makers because it is addressing the challenges facing social enterprises in the post COVID-19 period.






The online survey covers the following topics:


  • Social Entrepreneurship Culture
  • Institutional Framework
  • Legal & Regulatory Framework
  • Access to Finance
  • Access to Markets

If you are an organisation working in the field of social enterprise in Ireland, Malta or Estonia and would like to take part in the survey, please contact your local national representative.

Forthcoming Workshops

  • July 21st , hosted by Cork City Council, Ireland - address the challenges faced by social enterprises in the post COVID-19 economy
  • Aug 25th, hosted by Tartu City Council, Estonia - will bring a European perspective into play, focused on boosting learning between social economy stakeholders in the three regions and supporting the fostering of a wider inter-regional social economy community.
  • End of Sept (date to be confirmed) - The 3rd workshop of the project is to improve collaboration in each region between existing local networks and stakeholders and supporting the fostering of a local social economy community.


If you would like to find out more about FOSO contact:

Pedro Fernandez Alvarez

Head, EU Projects - Corporate Programmes and Initiatives
Malta Enterprise


Tel. +356 2247 7600 Dir. +356 2247 7617 

Donal Guerin

Strategic and Economic Development, Cork City Council, City Hall, City Hall


Tel: +353 21 238 9856

Katrin Reiljan

Tartu City Council, Estonia