Social Economy as a Main Driver of Economic and Social Development in the Western Balkans and Visegrad Region

Tosheva, Elizabeta and Petrishkova, Ivana (2020) Social Economy as a Main Driver of Economic and Social Development in the Western Balkans and Visegrad Region. Discussion Paper. Association for education Mladiinfo International North Macedonia, Skopje.

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This research study provides a synthesis analysis of the social economy ecosystem in two regions: the Visegrad region (V4) and the Western Balkan countries (WB6). It includes an assessment of the state of play of the social economy (SE) in the countries, including an assessment of its nature, size, and key sectors, as well as an overview and analysis of the regulatory framework, the institutional support, the financing options and the available support structures and networks. The main aim of the research is to give a broader insight into the current situation and ecosystem development in V4 region and WB6 region. The study is quite unique connecting the two regions, showing their limits, obstacles and challenges in relation to social economy as well as in the same time referring to potentials of cooperation, development and further effectively of funding options on the European, regional and national level. The research was performed in the times of COVID-19 pandemics, when collecting the data via interviews with stakeholders and young entrepreneurs was limited to online questionnaires form. The questionnaires served to analyze the potentials for economic and social development from the perspective of stakeholders and beneficiaries, as well as to better estimation of human capital development and talent acquisition of youth in the two regions. Policy recommendations formulated at the end of the paper mostly refer to strengthening the support, developing and implementing initiatives related to social economy development, and measures for sharing knowledge, resources and joint action to develop the social economy in the countries involved in the study. Putting in place an enabling environment for social enterprises is critical if they are to fulfill their potential in contributing not only to creation of jobs, but also to addressing wider social and economic needs, and to promoting more cohesive and inclusive societies. This policy research is part of the Visegrad Fund Project: Towards Social Economy: Young Social Innovators as Forerunners of Positive Change in V4 and WB6, led by the Association for education Mladiinfo International from North Macedonia in partnership with ten civil society organizations from the Visegrad and the Western Balkans region: Pontis Foundation (Slovakia), Mladiinfo Slovakia (Slovakia), Central Europe Association (Hungary), Czech Youth Association (Czech Republic), Association Institute of New Technologies (Poland), Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation (Serbia), Social Innovation Incubator MUNJA (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Mladiinfo Montenegro (Montenegro), Beyond Barriers Association (Albania), and Balkan Green Foundation (Kosovo).
Key words: social economy, Visegrad countries (V4), Western Balkan countries (WB6), social enterprise, entrepreneurship, COVID-19 pandemics, youth, funding, job creation, social inclusion, policy recommendations

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Subjects: Scientific Fields (Frascati) > Social Sciences > Economics and Business
Divisions: Faculty of Law
Depositing User: Prof. d-r. Elizabeta Tosheva
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2022 08:21
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2022 08:21

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