Dialogue on Social Entrepreneurship

The Law on Social Entrepreneurship was adopted in February 2022, and its implementation will begin on November 15, 2022, after a decade of work and changing relations between CSOs and public institutions. The law recognizes the existing practice in the social entrepreneurship sector and it is an institutionally recognized contribution to the sustainability of local communities, the social inclusion of vulnerable groups, and a fairer digital and green transition.

In the short term, the absence of concrete instructions for the registration of social enterprises and a practical knowledge will make it difficult to start implementing the Law. Social enterprises without sufficient knowledge and detailed information will remain without motivation to register their status and fulfill other obligations provided by this Law. At the same time, it is difficult for institutions to better understand the challenges and needs of the sector. This is why it is extremely important to start the process of implementing the Law with the joint efforts of the actors.

Since the Law itself was drafted through the cooperation of various actors, the Program for the Development of Social Entrepreneurship is developed in the same way, through the cooperation of representatives of various stakeholders in the Council for Social Entrepreneurship. It is extremely important to maintain, even intensify, the dynamics of dialogue between CSOs and public institutions. In this way, all actors will develop a sense of ownership of the topic, develop knowledge and awareness about the different roles that actors have in the application of the law, and thus help and promote the sector.

Overall goal of the project is to contribute to the implementation of the Law on Social Entrepreneurship, through dialogue between public authorities and civil society.

Specific objectives:

  1. Intensifying communication between public authorities and CSOs in order to build mutual trust;
  2. Adoption of the procedure for the implementation of the law through the joint work of public authorities and CSOs in the form of Guidelines for the implementation of the Law on Social Entrepreneurship;
  3. Increasing knowledge about the practice of social entrepreneurship among citizens;

Project activities:

  1. Formal maintenance of dialogue between public authorities and civil society
  2. Development of Guidelines for the implementation of the Law
  3. Implementing a campaign to strengthen the social economy sector
  4. Monitoring and evaluation of project activities for the project

Duration of the project: 1.10.2022 – 31.07.2023.

The project is implemented within the Civil Society Support Program “Dialogue of Change”, which is implemented within the project “Dialogue of Change – Support for Reforms through the Cooperation of Civil Society Organizations and Public Authorities”, which is implemented by the Belgrade Open School in partnership with the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, the Republic Secretariat for Public Policies, the Center for EU Public Policies of the University of Belgrade, the Olof Palme Center, as well as in cooperation with the Office for NGOs of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, with the financial support of the European Union, based on the agreement between the Delegation of the European Union in Serbia.

The new housing cooperativism: the path to sustainable financing

One of the main challenges for the establishment of a new housing cooperative paradigm in Serbia, but also in the wider region, is the lack of financial mechanisms and instruments that would support housing solutions based on joint ownership, economic solidarity and collective management. Financing options are very limited, between long-term individual housing loans and short-term financing for investment projects that expect a quick turnover of funds. Due to legal constraints and the de facto disappearance of savings and credit cooperatives in Serbia in the mid-2000s, housing and other types of cooperatives lost their financial partners.

The goal of this project is to find a range of financial opportunities through the learning-by-doing approach and interpretation of the existing regulatory framework that would enable the realization of pilot projects of the new housing cooperative.

Specific objectives:

  1. Designing and distributing recommendations for improving the regulatory framework as a contribution to the development of financial instruments and partnerships for the new housing cooperative.
  2. Preparation of proposals for sources of financing tailored to the communities with which the pilot projects of the new housing cooperative are being developed.
  3. Promotion of the new housing cooperativism model among citizens and interested parties.

Planned activities:

  1. Preparation of an overview of current policies and regulations, as well as shaping recommendations for changes to regulatory solutions relevant to financing methods applicable to new housing cooperative – through desk research and in-depth interviews with experts.
  2. Creation of models of financial instruments on the examples of two pilot projects and through identifying and defining the range of possibilities for financing each of the phases of the new model of housing cooperatives – through a set of workshops.
  3. Consultations in the form of meetings with three groups of stakeholders: (international) financial institutions/donors, decision makers, CSOs/traditional cooperative sector.
  4. Campaign to raise citizens’ awareness of the social and solidarity economy, especially housing cooperatives – through a meeting with the media, articles and a campaign on social networks.

Duration of the project: 1.8. 2022 – 30.4.2023.

The project is implemented in partnership with Ko gradi grad and it is financed by the Open Society Foundation, Serbia.

Program for development of social entrepreneurship
Support to the implementation of the law on social entrepreneurship

GIZ - logotip

In February 2022, Serbia adopted a law on social entrepreneurship, drafted in cooperation with the sector and responding to its needs. The Law on Social Entrepreneurship comes at the right time both from the perspective of the needs of Serbian society, as well as in accordance with global agendas. Still, as a framework law, it requests further systemic change which will create conditions for stronger impact of the law in terms of social entrepreneurship development. The legislator sees the establishment of the Council for the Development of Social Entrepreneurship in the partnership between the public and civil sector, through envisaged mixed composition, and the fact that the Council will adopt a five-year Program for the development of social entrepreneurship. The Council has been established by the Government decision on 19 May 2022.

The overall goal of the project is to contribute to the establishment of a functional framework for the development of social entrepreneurship in the Republic of Serbia. This goal will be achieved if the following specific objectives that the project is focused on are met:

  1. To support the newly established Council for the Development of Social Entrepreneurship with expert support and knowledge;
  2. To develop and advocate for adoption of the Social Entrepreneurship Development Program;
  3. To improve the knowledge and skills of the social entrepreneurship sector in accordance with the new legal framework


  1. Establishment of the Council for the Development of Social Entrepreneurship
  2. Adoption of the Social Entrepreneurship Development Program
  3. Improving the knowledge and skills of the social entrepreneurship sector in accordance with the new legal framework

Timeframe: 1.7.2022 – 31.12.2022.

The project 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.

Pokret Polet

The program was created with the intention of improving and supporting the process of public policy reforms in the process of joining the European Union by providing financial and expert support to civil society organisations to advocate based on facts for changes that contribute to socio-economic development. As part of expert support, in addition to expert mentors from thematic areas of calling, the program innovatively includes youth – political scientists, economists, lawyers and others – who want to gain practice in research and creation of practical policy proposals and thereby contribute to the development of their communities.

The key segments of the program are:

1) Support to civil society organisations

In order to improve the capacity of civil society organisations to effectively advocate for changes in national and local public policies, the program will provide a diverse concept of support that includes financial support, training on public advocacy, expert support through mentoring and work with multidisciplinary teams of young researchers.

2) Support for young researchers

Through the professional practice program, 45 young people, students and/or postgraduates of social sciences will be supported to improve their theoretical knowledge and gain practical experience in researching public policies and creating proposals for their improvement. Youth will have the opportunity to work together on public policy research within multidisciplinary teams.

3) Empowering citizens for inclusion in decision-making processes

Within the program, special attention is paid to increasing the visibility of socio-economic challenges at the local and national level, which aims to contribute to greater involvement of citizens in decision-making processes. Through communication channels, the partners of the program will promote the topics advocated by civil society organisations and proposed solutions for which they are advocating. Civil society organisations will be empowered to more intensively promote their activities through training, mentoring and allocation of financial resources through direct work with citizens, social networks and through traditional media. The successes of cooperation between organisations and young researchers will be presented at annual conferences, where best practices will be promoted with media support, but attention will also be drawn to the challenges of socio-economic development in the process of EU integration.

Program duration: 1.2.2022 – 31.5.2025.

The three-year public advocacy program in the community “Pokret Polet” is financed by the European Union and implemented by the Trag Foundation in partnership with the Centre for Social Policy and in cooperation with the Coalition for the Development of Solidarity Economy (CoSED). 

Shift to Unlock
Strengthening of social enterprise to assure dignity, rights and skills

Overall objective of the project is to promote local development and social cohesion and strengthen the social and employment inclusion of people in situations of disadvantage, in particular disabled or with mental health issues in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Specific objectives of the project:

– Design and development of training and work opportunities for people in situation of disadvantage, especially those with a disability or with mental health issues

– Promote, in line with the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda, the development of social enterprise in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, also understood as a driver for sustainable development.

Project activities:

  1. Analysis of current legislation and good practices in Serbia, Bosnia and Friuli Venezia Giulia in the job placement of people in situation of disadvantage, especially those with disabilities and mental health issues
  2. Analysis of the needs of the communities and enterprises for the identification and development of new services and activities.
  3. Awareness raising on social economy issues and building dialogue between public services, profit enterprises and social enterprises.

CoSED is a partner in the project implemented by the consortium of social cooperatives from Italy C.O.S.M, Caritas Šabac, Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina, Prohera and the Municipality of Bogatić.

The realisation of the project is supported by Regione Autonoma Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Timeframe: 17.02.2022 – 16.08.2024.

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 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; 
  • 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;

Results: Make social enterprises visible and connected, developed map of social enterprises in participating countries, hold a conference; Make 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, broader concept of social entrepreneurship promoted.

Duration: 01.10.2021. – 31.10.2023

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.

Ground Up: Social entrepreneurial ecosystem boost for resilient cities

Youth 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. 

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


  • to identify the obstacles and challenges of cross-sectoral cooperation;
  • to support creating links between different sectors (public, for-profit, non-profit, social enterprise) in participating countries and at international level between the regions;
  • to share good working practices on creating supportive environment of cross-sectoral cooperation and to develop competencies of the partners to implement shared practices;
  • 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.

Project duration: June 2021 – June 2023

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