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Support the development of social entrepreneurship in Bulgaria

18 November 2022

Social entrepreneurs are those for whom every problem has a solution. And they have set out to solve the most significant problems in our society.

We know that the way to change is together. We invite you to join our common efforts to improve the environment for social entrepreneurship in Bulgaria. You can do so by filling out this short form by November 29th: https://forms.gle/Qk1TNXaVAcjByhpv5

The impact of multiple crises - health, energy, economic, political instability - have produced negative effects related to business survival and employee retention in the absence of specific support measures. On the other hand, social entrepreneurs have transformed crises into opportunities, adapting their services and creating new products to sell in a changing market.

We believe that in order to develop the environment for social entrepreneurship in our country, we need to support the efforts of social entrepreneurs to start and develop businesses with a cause, clearly taking into account their needs and the new challenges they face. The report Entrepreneurship for NGOs: Starting and Growing a Business with a Cause provoked us to delve deeper into the issues they brought to the fore and develop a discussion to find those solutions that will support them in a meaningful way.

We now invite all organisations that recognise the need to support social enterprise to support the Declaration for the Development of Social Enterprise in Bulgaria.   

Among the proposals developed in the Declaration are:

1.           Flexible funding for already developing social enterprises - different types of financial support are needed to encourage the development, not just the survival of social enterprises.

2.           Grant schemes and measures that respond to real needs - allocations should be tailored to current challenges and take account of difficulties in meeting large upfront payments

3.           Support for team capacity building and human resource development - project funding should support team development not only in terms of recruiting people from vulnerable groups but also in terms of developing the business component

4.           Broadening the definition and increasing the visibility of social enterprises - easing the criteria for inclusion in the Register of Social Enterprises and the reporting regime

5.           Building a sustainable mechanism for dialogue and guarantees for the participation of social enterprises in the decision-making process regarding policies and measures affecting them.

The purpose of the document is to serve as a joint advocacy to responsible institutions and to open spaces for dialogue on proposals to improve policies and programmes addressing the development of a social enterprise ecosystem.

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For 11 years in a row, we at the Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law have been working hard to develop the NGO Entrepreneurship Program. Through it, we encourage and support civil society organizations in Bulgaria to develop their business activities - business ideas that both address significant social issues and help organizations to be more sustainable and financially independent.

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