Development of methodology and training for social entrepreneurship awareness and promotion in Latvia

A number of non-governmental organizations (including Social innovation centre), companies will prepare two methodologies and train the Ministry of Welfare and financial institutions “Altum” employees on how to recognize and promote social enterprises in Latvia.

Two methodologies will be developed, based on public tendering process:

– Selection criteria and the application of the methodology for social enterprises;

– Social enterprise support instruments.

The concept of social entrepreneurship is a new concept not only in Latvia, but relatively recently established elsewhere in the world. In Europe more and more companies are created, whose primary objective is not a financial gain to its owners, but the benefit of society as a whole, addressing an important public challenges. These challenges often are not resolved by government and the private sector has no engagement or interest with it, because they are not financially attractive. Initially, the majority of social enterprises were designed to create jobs for certain groups, such as people with disabilities or long-term unemployed. Over the last thirty years, the concept of social entrepreneurship has evolved – now social enterprises in Europe can be counted up to several hundred thousand. They not only create jobs for certain groups, but also produce goods and services, thus addressing a variety of important public issues.

On 14 October 2014 the Cabinet of Ministers approved the concept “On social entrepreneurship implementation possibilities in Latvia”, to launch a new social policy initiatives for social business development. Based on the European Union funding, the Ministry of Welfare will implement a pilot project “Support towards social entrepreneurship”. During the piloting phase in Latvia, social enterprises will be able to get grants for development of social entrepreneurship.

Methodology “Selection criteria and the application of the methodology for social enterprises” has several objectives. The primary objective is to provide theoretical and practical guidance on how to understand and recognize social enterprises, distinguishing them from other companies or non-governmental organizations.

Methodology called “Social enterprise support instruments” has a main goal to identify effective solutions for future social enterprises support.

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