Boost of Social Enterprise Ecosystem

The Law on Social Entrepreneurship was adopted at the beginning of 2022 after a decade of intensive work with decision-makers. In this way, the social entrepreneurship sector has become part of the legal system in the Republic of Serbia. At the same time, its recognizability among institutions has been ensured and it has become an area that should be taken into account when formulating, amending and adopting public policies that are important for its development.

However, the existence of The Law does not guarantee its implementation, i.e. the improvement of the social enterprise’s ecosystem and the improvement of the beneficiaries’ position. Law enforcement depends on political support, the operation of the Social Entrepreneurship Development Council, and the Social Entrepreneurship Development Program. It is the moment when the Program is expected to be drafted as a public policy document, which the content will determine specific mechanisms for the law application.

Social entrepreneurship is a multisectoral topic that can ensure a long-term solution to a number of social problems. Therefore, in drafting the Program, it is important to point out changes in other policies and laws that directly affect the development of social entrepreneurship, such as improving policies and laws in the field of social protection, taxation, youth, innovation, small and medium enterprises, and others. In addition, it is important to involve citizens and take into account the needs of local communities that can be met by adequate implementation of legislation in this area.

The project goal is to contribute to the implementation of the Law on Social Entrepreneurship and the institutionalization of social entrepreneurship in the Republic of Serbia.

The specific objectives are: a) integrating the needs of local communities into policies relevant to the development of social entrepreneurship and b) promoting social entrepreneurship in local communities.

Project activities include conducting consultative meetings at the local and national level, then developing and raising online tools to map the needs of local communities that can be met by social entrepreneurship; making recommendations for the improvement of related policies important for the improvement of social entrepreneurship; conducting an information campaign.

Duration: 1.5.2022 – 30.4.2023.

The project is supported by the ACT project, which is implemented by Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation in partnership with Civic Initiatives, and it is funded by the Swiss Government.

Road Map Of Social Entreprises

The project is based on the previous project “SSEN”, which was supported by the Visegrad Fund. The basis of the project is the realization of the initiative to create an online map with information on social enterprises from the V4 and VB6 regions. Project activities in the form of training courses, networking, and conferences will be implemented in support of the networking of social enterprises, youth organizations, and educational institutions in order to build partnerships and increase young people’s interest in entrepreneurship. The project aims to make social enterprises more visible and accessible across partner countries, strengthen networking capacities between social enterprises and increase product, service, and mission presentation skills. Moreover, the goal is to make social enterprises visible and accessible, not only for people from the immediate environment, but also for those who come from other countries, get acquainted with the concept, are motivated to buy products or hire services, but are unable to find information. on social enterprises in the region.

The key innovative element of the project is the final product – ROAD MAP – a practical online tool available to a wide audience, not just a specific group of end-users. ROAD MAP will provide information in various scales: from basic information about the social enterprise, its product, services, address; information for the potential buyer for brief information on the company’s goal, needs in terms of cross-sectoral cooperation; – information for potential partners And in some cases will include interviews with representatives of social enterprises themselves; – to attract attention, to stimulate interest in becoming a social entrepreneur, to share the story of the importance of social enterprises in relation to facing social challenges. Eight partners from 8 countries have been working for 13 months on the development of a digital tool for regional cooperation in the field of social entrepreneurship.

The main goal of the project: building an online map of social enterprises from Macedonia, Poland, Slovakia, Montenegro, Hungary, Albania, the Czech Republic and Serbia.

Activities: Preparatory partnership meeting, online training for young people, networking event: Making social enterprises visible and connected, map of social enterprises in participating countries, conference: Making social entrepreneurship visible and cross-sectoral
By August 2022, connect SSE actors in Serbia around the field of capacity building and joint advocacy platforms.
During the project, promote the broader concept of the collector, the different collectors of the collector and the areas around which the actors connect and cooperate.

Duration: 01.10.2021. – 01.12.2022

The project is led by the Youth Alliance – Krusevo from Macedonia in a consortium of partners: European Foundation for Human Development (Poland), Coalition for the Development of Solidarity Economy (Serbia), ADEL Slovakia (Slovakia), NGO Prima (Montenegro), Association MEOUT (Hungary), Network Young Professionals (Albania) and Mission: Reconnect z.s (Czech Republic).

The realization of the project was supported by the Erasmus + Fund and the Visegrad Fund.

Mapping the Ecosystem Of
Social and Solidarity Economy In Serbia

Social and solidarity economy (SSE) is a field in which social enterprises (SP) operate, achieving different social goals through economic activities. According to relevant research in Europe and Serbia, SSE is a sustainable solution for balancing economic, social and environmental goals (destabilized by negative growth approaches and exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis). In Serbia, SSE is underdeveloped – the public sector and state administration do not recognize it, there are no stable sources of support, nor institutions to promote it. The entire SSE ecosystem has not been identified (not all actors have been identified) – which is further confirmation of the underdevelopment. So far, most work has been done on establishing one type of actors: social enterprises, and the focus of CoSED itself was on establishing a regulatory framework for SP development and promotion of some SSE practices, and advocacy and coordination of SP, intermediary organizations, public institutions and the like. CoSED wants to use this experience to involve a larger number of actors.

Mapping actors and determining the characteristics and potential of the entire ecosystem, CoSED will achieve through the following activities:
a) capacity building of existing and development of missing SSE actors and practices;
b) the creation of broader alliances for stronger and more participatory policy advocacy and, in general, a more favorable framework for the development of the SSE.

The main goal of the project: Establishing the entire ecosystem of social and solidarity economy that contributes to sustainable and solidary development of society.

Specific objectives:
By August 2022, research and map existing actors, practices, capacities and resources in the field of SSE in Serbia, and identify the missing ones.
By August 2022, connect SSE actors in Serbia around the field of capacity building and joint advocacy platforms.
During the project, promote the broader concept of the collector, the different collectors of the collector and the areas around which the actors connect and cooperate.

Duration: 01.08.2021. – 31.07.2021

The implementation of the project “Mapping the ecosystem of social and solidarity economy in Serbia” is financially supported by the Open Society Foundation, Serbia.

Support To Development Of Social Enterpryse Ecosystem

Through this project, the Coalition will address the burning issue of defining social enterprises in Serbia and the low level of knowledge and information of citizens about the social and solidarity economy. The Coalition wants all stakeholders to have comprehensive, accurate, timely and necessary information on the solidarity economy, and especially to have greater knowledge and understanding of its potential for positive social change, its social impact, in order to motivate them to get involved in sector development.

The main goal of the project:
Support to development of enabling environment for social enterprises.

Specific objectives:
– To develop structure and content of the register of social enterprises as supporting tool in the ongoing policy process;
– To build capacities of public institutions, CoSED and social enterprises for greater professionalisation of its work in the area of social entrepreneurship;
– To raise awareness of public officials, (social) entrepreneurs and citizens in general on the impact of social and solidarity economy

Duration: 14.05.2021. – 14.02.2022

The implementation of the project “Support to Development of Social Enterprise Ecosystem” is supported by the German Organization for International Cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit – GIZ) through the German-Serbian Initiative for Sustainable Growth and Employment.

Ground Up: Social Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Boost For Resilient Cities

outh organizations, ministries and local governments globally highlighted the need to explore how we can bring about social, economic and sustained environmental resilience at city level and create new labour markets for young people. The consortium organizations observed a gap between social entrepreneurial ideas and commercialization within local economies hence they felt a need for new methodologies which could be applied to their social entrepreneurial activities. The project focuses on development of place-based methodologies enabling youth organizations and other actors to build ecosystems that boost social entrepreneurial activity. The project includes 11 organizations representing North Macedonia, Costa Rica, South Africa, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Austria, Denmark, Ecuador, Serbia and Peru. The project will include series of capacity building and mobility activities designed with aim to reach following objectives: to evaluate local contexts and support the creation of conducive social entrepreneurial environments using created methodology; to gather and analyse practices implemented and transfer these practices in the field of youth; to develop competences of youth workers in new methodology thus increasing quality of activities targeting young people with fewer opportunities and developing their entrepreneurial competences and to encourage collaboration in the creation of local and international projects addressing challenges that prevent supportive social entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Overall objective: To develop place-based methodologies enabling youth workers and other actors to build ecosystems that boost social entrepreneurial activity.

1. to identify the obstacles and challenges of cross-sectoral cooperation;
2. to support creating links between different sectors (public, for-profit, non-profit, social enterprise) in participating countries and at international level between the regions;
3. to share good working practices on creating supportive environment of cross-sectoral cooperation and to develop competencies of the partners to implement shared practices;
4. to enhance cooperation and development of new project ideas addressing the issue of cross-sectoral cooperation.

Activities: The project consists of capacity building activities (kick of meeting, evaluation meeting, local researches, workshops) and mobility activities (two seminars and two training courses). The project will be focused on continuing our work in social entrepreneurship with a special focus on creating more supportive social entrepreneurial environments through development of mapping methodology and raising capacities of youth organizations to apply this methodology in their work. The methodology will include framework that consists of a list of evidence-based indicators for success; enabling youth organizations to evaluate their communities, cities in order to better understand social entrepreneurial eco-systems, to better identify the area of focus and potential partners.

Duration: June 2021 – March 2022 (12 months)

CoSED is a partner in a project implemented within the ERASMUS + program. The leading partner is the Youth Alliance – Krusevo from Macedonia, while the other partner youth organizations come from Austria, Costa Rica, Romania, South Africa, Slovenia, Ecuador, Bulgaria, Serbia and Peru.

Solidarity Economy For
A Fairer Society

The social and solidarity economy (SSE) is an ethical, value-based economic development that prioritizes people’s well-being over profit. At the heart of the concept itself are people who play an active role in shaping all dimensions of human life (economic, social, cultural, political, and environmental). SSE exists in all sectors of economy, production, finance, distribution, exchange, consumption, and management. SSE is purposefully transforming the social and economic system that includes the public, private, and third sectors in the direction of achieving the well-being of the community.

Opening a broader dialogue on the development of society (not just growth) on the basis of SSE is important for sustainable and stable development of society. This is especially important in the context of the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The consequences of the tectonic disturbance caused by the crisis are yet to be seen, and measures related to the recovery of society must take into account the needs of all strata of society. Stagnation of the economy, changes in power relations at the global level, the so-called crisis of solidarity in the EU, are the circumstances that will affect how Serbian society will be traced on the road to recovery.

After the establishment of the new government, there will be a reflection on what support measures need to be adopted in order to help the society to get out of the crisis. This is an opportunity to open a dialogue on what measures need to be directed towards SSE organizations, as initiatives that show the greatest resilience to the crisis, due to the principles on which they operates. Opening a dialogue on the contribution that SEE organizations have to the organic and sustainable development of society will create a better condition for the emergence of new initiatives of this type and strengthen existing ones, thus helping the recovery of society in a sustainable, inclusive, and equitable manner. Above all, the presence of these initiatives in public discourse will indicate the political potential of these initiatives for the transformation of politics, the economy and the overall development of society.

The project aims to contribute to greater activism of citizens and democratization of society, precisely, opening of dialogue and advocacy of socially sustainable policies, solidarity and justice through strengthening cooperation between social and solidarity economy organizations, academia institutions, think tanks, unions, NGOs, informal groups, and social movements.

The specific objectives of the project are:
1. Establishing dialogue and cooperation between different actors on the development of society based on social and solidarity economy (SSE);
2. Increasing the knowledge base on the social and solidarity economy in Serbia;
3. Contribution to informing citizens about alternative models of social development and promoting a culture of dialogue and citizen participation in reform processes at the local and national level.

Activities: Preparation of analytical material and policy recommendations on directions of support to the SSE sector in the post-covid period; Have your say! – Online tool for gathering information on examples of good practice during and after the Covid-19 crisis; Preparation and implementation of a promotional campaign on social networks.

Project duration: July 2020 – February 2021 (9 months)

The implementation of the project “Solidarity Economy for a Fairer Society” is financially supported by the Open Society Foundation, Serbia.

Fostering The Development Of The Social And Solidarity Economy

Given that the social enterprises’ environment in Serbia is unregulated and non-stimulating, the actors that operate in the sector have limited range of action. Aside from the social enterprises, which are characterised by strong motivation, but also by the lack of adequate management skills, the creation of social enterprises is often initiated by CSOs that advocate innovation of policies in this area.initiate. These organizations are not only familiar with relevant policies, but they offer support in the form of finances, education, and skills. Good examples are organisations gathered in the Coalition for Solidarity Economy Development. They are strongly committed to the creation of the sustainable system of support for sector of social enterprise.

Work with social enterprises and decision makers is motivated by the main goal to create adequate policies and instruments that will respond to the needs of social entrepreneurs in terms of sustainability of their business and scaling up. It is only through policy approach to the sector that is possible to contribute to the development of communities, tackle social inclusion and cohesion. Development of policy framework for development of social entrepreneurship demands building a strong network of various stockholders, building up their resources, skills and capacities to take active and significant part in the process. Apart from strengthening the network capacities, it is necessary to raise awareness of wider public on importance of development of social enterprises and supporting them in the local community.

Following the results achieved in 2019, CoSED continues to nurture partnerships, especially at the local level. The first half of 2020 was marked by pre-election and election processes, which made it necessary to strive for continuity in state action towards the social entrepreneurship sector. The intention was to validate the approach proposed in the law and test the proposed support measures for the sector and to provide an expert and independent approach to changes in state institutions due to elections. In addition to the policy-making process, CoSED will continue the intensive promotional campaign on social entrepreneurship to make this area more understandable and closer to the general public

Within the HBS support we will achieve the following goals:
To continue communication with stakeholders and decision makers with the aim to validate the proposal to the sector development.
To inform stakeholders and wider public on benefits of social entrepreneurship for sustainable development of local communities.

Activities: Implementation of consultation mechanisms with various stakeholders public on the future of the development of social entrepreneurship sector; Undertaking various raising awareness activities towards target groups to inform them on the benefits of social entrepreneurship for local socio-economic development.

Project duration: April 2020 – November 2020

CoSED is implementing the project “Fostering the development of social and solidarity economy” in cooperation with the Heinrich Boell Stiftung – Belgrade Representative Office.