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European Union supporting development of social entrepreneurship in Macedonia

SKOPJE - Promotion of the EU funded project "Fostering Social Entrepreneurship" will take place at the EU Info Centre in Skopje on Friday.

The European Union is continuing its support to the country in developing social entrepreneurship. The overall objective of the project “Fostering Social Entrepreneurship” is to improve the inclusiveness of the labour market by creating new jobs opportunities through stimulation of social economic initiatives. Beside the activities focused on strengthening the capacity for implementation of social entrepreneurship legislation and creating a favourable eco-system for social enterprises, the project within its second component will support existing social enterprises towards better attractiveness and competitiveness. It will provide tailored made corporate solutions to existing initiatives which operate de facto as social enterprises.

The following organizations will be individually supported for the duration of the project: APH, Ljubeznost, Arno, Solem, Astarta, Kulturna riznica, Sonce, Misla, Forum 16, Crven Krst, Banka za hrana, Albiz fondacija.

Raising awareness about the social entrepreneurship and its importance is the first step, in which the active role of the Government of all levels, CSO sector and private sector, should be seriously taken. The lack of awareness on this topic is the first obstacle in “healthy” development of social entrepreneurship and social enterprises community.

Despite the hardships, the potential of local CSOs is very significant. It is important to remember that these organizations work with very small resources, a handful of staff and volunteers trying to enhance a system-based approach as they do not have sufficient financial and infrastructure resources. They work hard to develop social innovations. Unfortunately entrepreneurial activities are developed by very few organisations. Besides the possibility to run economic activity by CSOs and cooperatives there are no other legal forms of social enterprises available, but there is importance to change the passive welfare system and create a more active system and to create of a new generation of institution called Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISE), which provide an opportunity for job training of the excluded groups of people. That is also important to create social enterprises to provide of services of general interest in the fields of health care, psychology, mental health care, education and training etc. and honestly fulfil the main characteristic of social entrepreneurship that income is reinvested for the purpose of the community or for creation of next work places for disadvantaged individuals.

The project is implemented by EPTISA SOUTHEAST EUROPE d.o.o. (RS) in consortium with OSB Consulting GmbH (AT), Expertise France (FR) and EPTISA Servicios de Ingenieria (ES), in close cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP).

Official addresses at the event will be given by Mr. Ibrahim Ibrahimi, Minister MLSP, Mr. Mauro Di Veroli, Delegation of the European Union, Head of Section, Mrs. Barbara Sadowska, Team Leader.

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