Development of social economy enterprises

BGK supports, through financial instruments, the sector of social economy enterprises (SEEs). Social economy is understood as an area of active citizenship and social commitment, which through economic and public benefit activity supports: social integration, creation of jobs, provision of public benefit services, and local development. Social economy also includes solidarity economy, which is understood as promoting professional activation, including the professional reintegration of people at risk of exclusion, as well as social and professional rehabilitation of persons with disabilities.

According to the “Survey of financial and non-financial needs in the social economy and social and health services sector” of 9 April 2020, carried out by an expert team at the request of the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy, whose goal was to estimate the financing gap affecting SEEs and limiting their development, due to the unavailability of debt financing sources in 2019 SEEs failed to make planned expenditures totalling approximately PLN 72 million.

Financial support for SEEs is a part of BGK’s mission, which includes activities promoting sustainable socio-economic development of the country. The social economy development programme, which has been operated by BGK continuously since 2012, is intended to increase the number of social enterprises using repayable financial instruments. By providing them with access to sources of funding, we facilitate the economisation of these entities, making them independent from the subsidy system. By providing them with funds for their day-to-day operations and development, we help them achieve their objectives laid down in their charters, which consist in measures aimed at resolving social problems and the provision of services to the local communities, including social services.

BGK makes it possible to finance SEEs operations from the European Social Fund as part of the project implemented under Measure 2.9 of the Operational Programme Knowledge, Education, Development (OP KED) for 2014–2020.

PLN mn
allocation for repayable instruments from OP KES
total number of loan agreements with SEEs by the end of 2021
number of jobs declared to be created in SEEs as a result of using the loan
112 497 985,55
PLN mn
total value of loans advanced to SEEs by the end of 2021

15.89% of borrowers used the loan for a start (for SEEs operating for no more than 12 months), and 84.11% used the loan for development (for SEEs operating longer than 12 months).

Among the borrowers, the largest group consisted of entities from the category of micro-enterprises – 62.20%, followed by small-sized enterprises – 31.26% and medium-sized enterprises – 6.33%. The smallest group among SEEs that used the loans included entities created by churches and religious associations – 0.21%.

In order to mitigate the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the activities carried out by SEEs, the parameters of loans from the National Fund for Social Entrepreneurship’s resources were changed, inter alia, the loan repayment period and grace period for the repayment of principal were extended by up to 12 months, the so-called payment holiday was introduced, i.e. a possibility to suspend the repayment of principal or principal and interest instalments for up to 12 months, the interest rates on loans were reduced, even to 0% for borrowers who justified their difficult financial situation, the period for creating new jobs was extended by additional 12 months.

The above loan parameters introduced in connection with the epidemic are temporary and will remain effective until three months after the announcement of the end of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic. Loan parameters may be changed only at the request of the borrower, provided that the borrower has provided a credible justification that the situation related to COVID-19 caused liquidity problems during the loan repayment or poses a risk that such problems may occur in the future. The reduced interest rate applies for a period not longer than 12 months.

Liquidity loan for social economy entities (LL SEE) intended to finance day-to-day operations and ensuring financial liquidity of social economy entities operating longer than 12 months.

The instrument launched by BGK in 2020 to help SEEs affected by the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. LL SEE resources come from returns on investments granted under the pilot project OP HC, OP KES and the liquidated Guarantee Fund (OP KES). These loans, since they are granted using national (non-EU) funds, are not subject to numerous requirements relating to the spending of EU funds.

Due to the negative impact of the pandemic on social economy entities, loan parameters were changed, including: the loan repayment period was extended by 12 months and the grace period for repayment of principal was extended by 6 months. In addition, in the case loans granted until 30 June 2021, it was possible to partially cancel the principal of the loan in 15% or 25%, after meeting the specified condition (drop in revenue from economic activity by at least 20% resulting from COVID-19) and achieving the required criterion (maintaining headcount for 10 months).

PLN mn
allocation for liquidity loans (LL SEE)
total number of loan agreements with SEEs by the end of 2021
PLN mn
total value of loans advanced to SEEs by the end of 2021

Examples of support for social economy enterprises:

Loan for social economy enterprises as part of OP KES

Borrower: SZANSA-START GDAŃSK Rehabilitation and Sports Association

Financial intermediary: Towarzystwo Inwestycji Społeczno-Ekonomicznych S.A.

Amount of the support: PLN 200,000

In June 2021, the Association received an OP KES loan in the amount of PLN 200 thousand for the renovation of one of the buildings at the Mausz Paralympic Preparations Centre, which included raising the standard of rooms, thermal insulation of the building and replacement of the entire heating, hydraulic and electrical systems. The President of Szansa-Start Gdańsk stresses that as a non-governmental organisation the Association had no chance of obtaining a loan from a commercial bank. In the case of a loan for social economy entities granted by BGK, its great advantage is its low interest rate, which means that it is affordable to many social organisations.

Liquidity loan for social economy enterprises

Borrower: SYCHEM Foundation

Financial intermediary: Foundation for Enterprise Development in Suwałki

Amount of the support: PLN 100,000

The SYCHEM Foundation of Bielawa used a loan of PLN 100,000 to ensure its liquidity in the ongoing crisis caused by the COVID-19 epidemic (stock replenishment, purchase of intermediate products). Also, the Foundation took out a loan from the fund established as part of BGK’s project implemented under Measure 2.9 of OP KES, as well as loans offered as part of the pilot project of OP HC for 2007–2013.

The mission of the Foundation is to support the development of children, the youth and their families through activities in the field of culture and art, protection of cultural and traditional goods, tourism, education, sport and recreation, preventive healthcare, social inclusion and ecology. For its activities, the Foundation received numerous awards and accolades, including the certificate “Quality Label of Social and Solidarity Economy” in a competition co-organised by BGK, the Minister of Family and Social Policy and the Nowy Staw Foundation of Lublin.

Certificate: “Quality Label of Social and Solidarity Economy”

Fulfilling its social mission, BGK also provides partnership support to the Ministry of Family and Social Policy in the implementation of the project “System of certification with quality labels for social economy enterprises and local government units”. Its purpose is to create a nationwide certification system for the social economy sector and local government units involved in the establishment and development of social economy enterprises.

The competition for the award of the certificate of the Quality Label of Social and Solidarity Economy is a perfect occasion for social economy enterprises and local government units to present their activities and commitment to social economy. The contest promotes enterprises which are the most successful in combining economic activity with social engagement and local governments which recognise that in the area of their jurisdiction they can solve some social problems by establishing and supporting SEEs. The certificates confirm the high quality of services and products provided by the social economy sector and the contribution of local government units to improving the quality of life of residents. Due to the growing interest in the competition in 2021 the Board of Project Partners decided to extend it for another year.

For many years, the J.K. Steczkowski BGK Foundation has been involved in the development of the social economy sector in Poland. As part of an annual contest organised by the Ministry of Family and Social Policy together with BGK and the Nowy Staw Foundation of Lublin, BGK provides cash awards to top enterprises which received the “Quality Label of Social and Solidarity Economy”.

Examples of winners that received BGK Foundation awards:


Caritas Social Cooperative of Siedlce, which provides care and cleaning services, including maintenance of green areas, renovation services and ozonation. Its offer also includes personal assistance to a disabled person and childcare services. The mission of the Cooperative is to provide high-quality care services in order to meet the growing expectations of residents towards local governments as well as the expectations of retail customers.


Pro Aperte Foundation of Kutno, employing 32 people, half of whom are persons with disabilities. It supports children with development disorders, mostly in the autism spectrum, and their families. It creates space for persons with disabilities, including those with disorders from the spectrum of autism. This space is not only beneficial to patients under the care of the Foundation, but also to employees who have ample opportunities for development, training and putting their ideas into practice by coordinating their own projects.


Aktywni Tu i Teraz Social Cooperative of Krążkowo in the Inowrocław County, which offers animal therapy for children, the youth or people experiencing professional burnout. The cooperative is open to current social problems – it can react to them, it integrates the local community and shows that business can be carried out in a socially responsible manner.