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How to support development of social entrepreneurship in Moldova?

Social entrepreneurship is becoming more widespread in Europe with an increasing economic value it brings to the national markets. Social enterprises contribute to a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, endordsed as a European priority in the EC Strategy Europe 2020. They play an important role in tackling societal challenges and create new employment opportunities, particularly for jobseekers from the marginal and vulnerable social groups.

The concept of social entrepreneurship is still relatively new in Moldova. While there are CSOs carrying out entrepreneurial activities and enterprises that pursue social causes, there is not a common understanding of the concept between the key stakeholders, including CSOs, state authorities and businesses. Absence of a single legal definition, lack of supportive legal and fiscal environment hampers further development of the social entrepreneurship in the country.

In support of local discussions, ECNL developed a paper with Comparative Analysis of the Regulatory Framework for Social Enterprises in Europe. The paper was presented  by ECNL during the First Moldovan Conference on Social Enterprises, in Chisinau on October 6, 2015.

 The Analysis describes the concept of social entrepreneurship, definition and different regulatory approaches used in numerous European countries. While some countries adopted a separate law on social entrepreneurship or social economy as a broader concept, other countries decided to regulate social enterprises through amendments to the already existing laws. Also, the recognition of organizations that operate as social enterprises may be diverse, from the separate legal form to the special status of a “social enterprise”. The paper is complemented with a set of conclusions that help to decide on the most suitable regulatory approach for Moldova. The document is available in English and Romanian.

ECNL activities in Moldova are supported through the Moldova Partnerships for Sustainable Civil Society Program (MPSCS) implemented by FHI 360 and ECNL with funding of USAID.