More than 70 representatives of civil society organizations, the European Union, national and international institutions and organizations, academic community and media discussed the importance of social entrepreneurship for economic development of the country during the conference ‘Perspectives of Development of Social Entrepreneurship in Bosnia and Herzegovina’, which ended on Wednesday in Sarajevo.
Head of the Operations Section for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross Border Cooperation with the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina Gianluca Vannini pointed out that social entrepreneurship “opens great opportunities to overcome or alleviate the problem of high unemployment rate, by engaging potentially a large number of unemployed and socially vulnerable and to improve the social and material status of individuals and wider community in Bosnia and Herzegovina”.
Experts in the field from Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Slovakia, and Serbia shared their experiences with the establishment of the system of social entrepreneurship in their own countries, as well as in some of the EU Member States.
Participants underlined that development of social entrepreneurship was initiated by non-governmental organizations, by forming social enterprises that were not driven by profit, but rather by work and purposeful social engagement in their local communities in the form of employment of marginalized groups, improvement of environment, social and health care, as well as cultural life of citizens.
Ways of developing legal and institutional framework for social entrepreneurship at all levels in Bosnia and Herzegovina were also discussed at the conference.
Based on experiences of the EU Member Countries and countries in the region, the representatives of governmental institutions and social enterprises concluded that future legislative framework at all levels in Bosnia and Herzegovina has to be stimulating and not restrictive for future employers, while - at the same time - it has to be based on the needs of marginalized groups and the local community.
The conference was organized as a part of the Project ‘Contribution of Civil Society Organizations to Development of Social Entrepreneurship’, which is funded by the European Union, and implemented by ‘Foundation of Local Democracy’ from Sarajevo and the ‘Lara’ Foundation from Bijeljina.