NESEI - Network of European Social Entrepreneurs and Innovators

Welcome to the website of NESEI! 

NESEI aims to lead the boosting of Europe’s social innovation and entrepreneurship future.


NESEI - The Network Of European Social Entrepreneurs and Innovators is funded by the DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission.

NESEI aims to establish, consolidate and foster the role of a new network of social innovators and entrepreneurs within the social innovation community in Europe.


The main objective of NESEI is to establish, consolidate and develop a Network of social entrepreneurs and social innovators.


With the completion of the NESEI project the following results are to be accomplished:

  • Lead the boosting of Europe’s social innovation and entrepreneurship future.
  • Establish, consolidate and develop a Network of social entrepreneurs and social innovators.
  • The Network will complement existing networking initiatives.
  • Contribute to strengthening the social dimension of innovative initiatives undertaken in the framework of the EU industrial policy.
  • Contribute to making SMEs, social innovators and entrepreneurs, including philanthropic actors, more visible in business practice and in the policy discourse.
  • Raise awareness about social innovation in Europe and the EU support for business and social innovation via various communication channels: web, social media, public relations, media partnerships, online and offline events, etc.
  • Stimulate investment in social innovation from private and public entities notably by putting in contact the NESEI members with venture capitalists, business angels, venture philanthropic actors etc.
  • Develop synergies with the Enterprise Europe Network and other networks.
  • Establish contacts and, where possible, common initiatives on transnational cooperation with the “European and National Competence Centres for Social Innovation”.

Target groups

Social Entrepreneurs and Social Innovators across Europe
General Public
Academics and Researchers
Entrepreneurial Institutions
Large Market Players, SMEs, Startups
 Potential Investors

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Anna Athanasopoulou

Head of Unit, ‘Proximity, Social Economy and Creative Industries’, at the European Commission.

An EU official since 2002, she has held different positions at services and Cabinet-level at the European Commission and the Council of the EU, relating to tourism and textiles, culture and media policy, creative industries, and external relations. Before joining the EU civil service, Anna worked as Adviser to two Ministers of Culture in Greece and as Director of Programme Planning for the Athens 2004 Cultural Olympiad. In parallel, she lectured on History of Art and Cultural Management. Anna studied Archaeology (University of Thessaloniki), specialised in History of Art, where she holds an M.A. (George Washington University) and a Ph.D (Courtauld Institute of Art), and is the author of publications on History of Art and cultural policy.