Presentation of Regional Research on Social Entrepreneurship

A representative of the Institute for Youth Development KULT took part in a webinar presenting the results of a regional analysis of social entrepreneurship in the Western Balkans. The analysis was conducted by the Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs (RISE) project and funded by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO).

The analysis is divided into two sections. The first part contains information about youth and social entrepreneurship in the region, and lessons learned in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. The second part contains guidelines for the ecosystem of social entrepreneurship, civil society organizations and policymakers.

Research shows that two-thirds of the governments in the Western Balkans have not yet adopted an official definition of social entrepreneurship, or passed legislation on social entrepreneurship.

None of the countries in Western Balkans recognize social enterprises as a type of business, which leads them to register as limited liability companies. Across the region, entrepreneurship is being integrated into elementary and secondary school curricula, and in some university curricula as well. However, these programs are not sufficiently focused on developing entrepreneurial mindsets and practical skills. Funding for social business is mostly available in the form of grants and initial capital. There are no robust programs or examples of private investments in social entrepreneurship. The general public is mostly uninformed about the concept of social entrepreneurship and there are no strategic programs aimed specifically at raising awareness about social entrepreneurship. There are many successful social enterprises that can be used as models in the regional ecosystem.

The researchers noted that it is important to build the capacities of young people interested in social entrepreneurship and to work on showing buyers and customers that social enterprises are equally competitive on the market as commercial businesses. The researchers concluded that the general public has the wrong perception of social entrepreneurship, which could be remedied by encouraging them to observe this phenomenon as a part of a larger ecosystem.

The complete analysis is available here.

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