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Social entrepreneurship: Opportunities and challenges

On 10th March 2014, in Skopje, the strategic workshop “Social entrepreneurship: Opportunities and challenges” was held which is part of the People to People (P2P) component of the TACSO project.

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The objective was to discuss the policies and practices of social entrepreneurship as well as the opportunities and the challenges in this area in the country. The workshop was opened by Mr. Dime Spasov, Minister of Labour and Social Policy who stated that the Government had already made some analysis and comparison of experiences from European countries regarding social entrepreneurship. 

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This should assist the development of the relevant legislation which is being done by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.

The workshop participants including representatives of institutions, EU, CSOs, micro-financing institutions and experts, believe that social entrepreneurship is a model for social inclusion and an opportunity for reducing unemployment, which can be implemented solely through inter-sectoral cooperation and ensuring financial resources.

Some of the challenges to the social entrepreneurship development relate to the lack of information about the concept, the absence of legislation, the existence of cultural stereotypes as well as possible conflict of interest between real and social economy. It was recommended that in order to achieve the mission of the social entrepreneurship i.e. to reduce unemployment and to increase social inclusion, it is necessary to ensure access to information and knowledge, access to funds as well as to provide support from government, municipalities and international donors. 
 
The strategic workshop was organized in cooperation with the EU Delegation in the country and 5 CSOs (Macedonian Enterprise Development Foundation– MEDF; Centre for Institutional Development –CIRa; Association of Career Councillors – ASK; Community Development Institute – Tetovo and Foundation Focus, Veles) who attended two events on social entrepreneurship in Strasburg.