IT ALL STARTED IN 2010...
Coalition since 2010.
We are proud of the partnerships we have established and the initiatives we have launched or been a part of from the beginning. At the very beginning, in September 2010, we were one of the partners of the Erste Foundation in the implementation of the “Social Business Tour” program in Belgrade aimed at promoting the concept of social business. This was a joint initiative of the Erste Foundation, the Erste Group, the “Good.bee“Credit financial institution, and the Gramin Creative Laboratory, under the auspices of Professor Muhammad Yunus.
In 2010/2011, we implemented the first joint project “Professional Support Program for Improving the business models of Social Enterprises”, within the program “Youth Employment and Migration” established by four United Nations agencies (UNDP, ILO, UNICEF, and IOM) in cooperation with national and local partners, and with the financial support of the Spanish Millennium Development Goals Fund (MDGF). The idea of the program was to provide solid support to solidarity companies that had already been launched and thus to improve their business, as well as to identify and promote examples of good practice to serve as an incentive for others to launch similar initiatives.
We have invested the greatest efforts in the promotion of solidarity and social economy and social entrepreneurship. We raised awareness and developed the capacity of young people for more active work in this area during 2013 within the project “Innovative”, with the support of Solidar Suisse – Office in Belgrade. Our goal was to promote the inclusion of youth in social-entrepreneurial initiatives. We worked with young people and decision makers in local communities. For these project purposes we made a publication on social entrepreneurship. During 2013 and 2014, we dealt with bringing the concept of social and solidarity economy closer to the widest possible circle of interested individuals and groups in Serbia through the editing and distribution of newsletters on social entrepreneurship. The bulletin was published with the support of the TACSO office in Serbia (Technical Support to Civil Society Organizations).
We started our advocacy activities in 2012, when decision-makers in Serbia began to take an interest in the potentials of solidarity entrepreneurship, primarily in the employment of various marginalized groups. The Coalition is actively involved in the discussion of public policies. We were members of the working groups for the drafting of the Law on Social Entrepreneurship and we are committed to the adoption of a comprehensive policy that would respond to the needs of the sector in a holistic way. In 2019, we initiated an intensive process of consultation with all stakeholders in order to offer a comprehensive Draft of the Law on social entrepreneurship.
As a result of this process, an Ex-ante analysis of the social entrepreneurship sector and a draft Law on Social Entrepreneurship was developed by civil society with the support of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Republic Secretariat for Public Policy, the Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion Team, and the German Development Cooperation (GiZ). The draft law was sent to the relevant Ministry and its consideration is expected in the coming period.
We have also been active at regional and European level. In early 2014, motivated by and relying on the Strasbourg Declaration, which defines priorities and recommendations for the action of European Union institutions in the development of social entrepreneurship, we prepared a regional declaration to encourage the development of national public policies on solidarity in the Western Balkans and Turkey. Together with representatives of civil society organizations from the region, on March 14, 2014, we signed the “Belgrade Declaration on the Development of Social Entrepreneurship in the Western Balkans and Turkey.” The declaration was signed by more than 450 organizations from the region, which was a significant step towards gathering wider support and achieving the legitimacy of the initiative, which aims to propose measures to national, regional, and European institutions to improve the national and regional frameworks for solidarity and to include this region in the EU policies and initiatives in the field of solidarity entrepreneurship. Support in this process was provided by the Team of Deputy Prime Ministers for Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction (SIPRU) and the TACSO offices in Serbia. Within this initiative, the first regional network for the development of social entrepreneurship was formed – the Social Entrepreneurship Forum. Next to us, as a representative of Serbia, the founders of the network are: Partners Albania, Center for Change and Conflict Management (Albania), Mozaik Foundation (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Center for Institutional Development – CIRa (Macedonia), Forum for Civic Initiatives – FCI Kosovo), Fund for Active Citizenship – fAKT (Montenegro), Third Sector Foundation of Turkey – TUSEV (Turkey). The aim of the network is to point out the steps for the development of the solidarity economy as a relevant model for socially sustainable development of the entire region and the commitment of EU institutions to the Balkan countries to become a part of the EU strategies for social entrepreneurship.
COALITION AFTER 2019.
The previous 10 years of perseverance and success have encouraged us to make a decision to register the Coalition for the Solidarity Economy Development, as an independent association. Today, the CoSED has been established as an association founded by organizations dedicated to the development of the solidarity economy in Serbia. The CoSED is aimed at creating a stimulating framework for the development of the solidarity economy and solidarity entrepreneurship through information, advocacy, and capacity building of various actors. The founders of the Coalition are: the European Movement in Serbia, the Initiative for Development and Cooperation, the Smart Collective and the Trag Foundation.
The achievements of the CoSED and future plans rely on:
- leadership of member organizations in their fields;
- compatibility of different areas of support for the development of the solidarity economy implemented by member organizations;
- expertise and capacity of member organizations in their fields;
- visibility and credibility of the Coalition for the Solidarity Economy Development within the interested public;
- correct cross-sectoral cooperation – CoSED established close cooperates with all three social sectors;
- connection with programs, organizations, and institutions in the region and Europe.