With the financial support of the European Union, today, July 29, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova (CCI of the Republic of Moldova) launched the Social Business Accelerator, Central Region – a regional hub to support social entrepreneurship, which will contribute to economic growth and to the well-being of citizens and communities.
The hub was opened by means of a grant of 45,000 euros offered by the European Union, obtained through an open competition by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova.
“Social business is a concept aimed at solving business related problems in the society in which these businesses operate. A concept that is widely and successfully practiced in the member states of the European Union. Economic inclusion of young people and vulnerable people is one of the key benefits of social entrepreneurship. The European Union supports the launch and expansion of the social business concept in the Republic of Moldova, including through grants. However, the sustainability of social business is crucial, and in this context the Social Business Accelerator is launched, and we express our hope that through the expertise and support offered by it, social enterprises will develop successfully in the Republic of Moldova, for the benefit of the people,” said Gintautas Baranauskas, Deputy Head of the Cooperation Section, Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova.
According to CCI President Sergiu Harea:
During the last years, the chamber institution, which represents the interests of business from the Republic of Moldova, has been fully involved in the development of social entrepreneurship. And within the Regional Center, launched today, entrepreneurs will benefit from all business support services and tools.
“The purpose of the Social Business Accelerator developed by CCI is to support and encourage the involvement of entrepreneurs and NGOs in solving social problems. In recent years, the social economy has become one of the most frequently addressed topics, and thanks to the support of European partners, social enterprises have developed rapidly. Now, when the Republic of Moldova has obtained the status of a candidate country for EU accession, we are going to transpose European standards and practices at the national level, ensure a favorable regulatory framework for the launch and running of social businesses and promote the products and services of entrepreneurs that contribute to involvement in economic activities of people belonging to disadvantaged groups. During the two years of project implementation, CCI aims to focus its efforts in the field of social economy and ensure the sustainability of the project through the continuous development of the Social Business Accelerator both in the Center region and in other localities,” said Sergiu Harea , CCI President.
The president of the East European Foundation was also present at the event, who expressed his confidence in the future of social affairs.
Sorin Mereacre, President, East European Foundation specified:
“It gives me great pleasure to be present today at the official opening of the third Regional Business Support Center for Social Enterprises, out of the 4 that are created within the project “We capitalize on the potential of civil society for the promotion and development of social entrepreneurship in the Republic of Moldova”. The project is financed by the European Union, co-financed by Sweden and is implemented by the East European Foundation in partnership with the Contact Center and Keystone Moldova. The development and expansion of social businesses will increase job creation, involve people from disadvantaged groups in economic activities and facilitate their access to the resources and social services they need. We are confident that the Center launched today will become an accelerator of social business and contribute to economic growth and the well-being of citizens and communities.”
The primary activities of this accelerator are the creation and provision of development services of at least 20 social enterprises using modern means of entrepreneurial training, such as the use of the CCI digital platform, the launch of an Academy of social entrepreneurs, the creation of a Register of social enterprises on the platform of the CCI Member Register , the possibility of participating with a specialized stand at the largest national exhibition “Made in Moldova” organized by CCI or in the online environment – Virtual Exhibitions, etc.
At the same time, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry aims to promote the interests of social entrepreneurship on the existing platform of public-private dialogue, where the most current topics and initiatives to harmonize national legislation with that of the EU will be addressed.
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The hub was inaugurated as part of the project “We capitalize on the potential of civil society for the promotion and development of social entrepreneurship in the Republic of Moldova”, financed by the European Union, co-financed by Sweden and implemented by the East European Foundation in partnership with Keystone Moldova and the Contact Center.
The field of social affairs includes topics such as the creation of decent jobs, social security, social protection and inclusion, poverty reduction, equality between women and men, the inclusion of people with special needs, children and families, youth, the elderly and minorities, access to health services, justice, education, culture and sport, volunteering and active citizenship. Its main objective, common to all subfields, is to put people on an equal footing at the center of social policy.
The project “We capitalize on the potential of civil society for the promotion and development of social entrepreneurship in the Republic of Moldova” financed by the European Union and co-financed by Sweden, aims to provide economic and social opportunities to disadvantaged people through the prism of social entrepreneurship with the active involvement of civil society. The project aims to strengthen the capacities of civil society in the Republic of Moldova in the creation of social enterprises, which will contribute to the economic and sustainable growth of communities. The project has a budget of over 1,123,000 euros and is to be implemented by December 2024.