A legal framework needs to be set up for enterprises that focus on social issues, Minister for Energy and Enterprises Miriam Dalli said.
She was speaking in Parliament on a Bill to regulate social enterprise organisations, to establish the Regulator and the Register for Social Enterprise Organisations and to provide for a framework for benefits to be enjoyed by such social enterprise organisations.
The Bill also caters for variations in special laws relating to companies, partnerships and co-operatives so as to reflect the principles of the Act and seeks to reflect into Maltese law the principles provided for in the European Union Commission Regulation No. 651/2014 of 17th June 2014.
A consultation exercise that took place before the Bill was presented in parliament.
“We have a number of organisations that work in this way … what makes them different is that they give importance to social consequences. Up till now, there is no legal framework which enables them to work in regulatory fashion,” Dalli explained.
This will help the country in terms of social and economic issues, she remarked.
This bill will establish the parameters of how a social enterprise organisation is created, which would be either companies, partnerships, or cooperatives. These would have commercial goals with the principle of sociality in mind. This has also been a growing trend in Europe, Dalli noted.
There are 5 main points which the legal framework addresses: The legal framework in the ambit of social economy, with a clear orientation which promotes sustainability of operations; assure that these would be capitalised and most of the profits generated would be reinvested in the organisation itself or would be of support to the organisation; ensure growth of equity and assets; develop different models of the best practise for social innovation and; give the opportunity for start-ups or individuals with social entrepreneurial ideas, so that they obtain help with developing and implementing their ideas.