The project builds on the multi-year commitment of Serbian civil society to recognize social entrepreneurship in our country as an innovative business model that can help alleviate social problems in the community, as is the case in most countries in the European environment.
This business model was developed in Serbia mainly through the activities of the civil sector. There was no legal and normative framework for social entrepreneurship until the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Law on Social Entrepreneurship in February 2022, the implementation of which began in November 2022.
To date, no effective models have been developed to support social entrepreneurs at the local level, despite the fact that it is local communities that benefit most from social entrepreneurship by employing members of socially vulnerable groups and solving specific community problems and needs. With the establishment of a specialized office to support the development of social entrepreneurship in Kruševac, a support model was selected that represents the beginning of institutional support for potential and existing social entrepreneurs.
The overall objective of the project is to contribute to strengthening the role of civil society in improving the quality of social life by providing various services to socially sensitive groups.
The specific objective of the project is to create a stimulating environment for the development of social entrepreneurship in Kruševac, where the Office for Supporting the Development of Social Entrepreneurship plays a central role in the local community.
The main target groups of the project are unemployed people – potential social entrepreneurs and existing social entrepreneurs. The final beneficiaries of the project are members of socially vulnerable groups, inhabitants of Kruševac, who will benefit from the development of social entrepreneurship in Kruševac.
The main activity of the project is the establishment of the Office for Supporting the Development of Social Entrepreneurship in Kruševac under the name “Center for Social Entrepreneurship Kruševac”. The main task of the center is to provide all kinds of support and assistance to potential social entrepreneurs to start a business according to this model. The center will be a place of meeting and joint action of existing social entrepreneurs to ensure the support of the local community for the development of the sector. The center will be a vehicle for the promotion of this business model to the public and the public advocacy of local institutions with the goal of creating systemic support from the local community for social entrepreneurship.
An important component of the project is the promotion of social entrepreneurship with the aim of making the public aware of the potential benefits that the local community can derive from its development. The promotion will be designed and comprehensive, and all local media expressing interest in collaboration will be used. Several actions, of which the second mini-fair of social entrepreneurship is now the most important, are aimed at the direct presentation of social entrepreneurs to the local public.
During the project, the center will put a significant emphasis on research activities, as there is no systematic data on the number and structure of social entrepreneurs in Kruševac, nor on the attitude of actors in the local community towards this business model.
The project “Office for Support of Social Entrepreneurship Development Kruševac” is implemented by the Civic Association for Support of European Integration “Evrokontakt” from Kruševac. The project will be implemented in the period from 7 November 2022 to 7.7.2023 and has a total value of $21,620. The initiative is part of the Regional Program for Local Democracy in the Western Balkans 2 (ReLOaD2), funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).