Improving the legal framework is critical if social entrepreneurship is to develop its full potential in Moldova and Ukraine. This is one of the main conclusions from the international conference on ‘Best legal practices and support programs for social entrepreneurs in Moldova and Ukraine’, organized in hybrid format by the ‘EU4Youth - Unlocking the potential of young social entrepreneurs in Moldova and Ukraine
’ (EUnlocking) project in Kyiv on 12 May 2021.
The event gathered about 130 participants from the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Canada, the United States, Turkey and Nepal in Zoom. The conference was also live-streamed for 7 hours via Facebook with 3,246 reaches and 1,243 views to date.
During the conference, experts and participants discussed the development of social entrepreneurship in both countries, its impact and roles in resolving social problems and contributing to social inclusion. Legal issues and best practices to support social businesses developed by both governmental and non-governmental sectors in the two countries were also presented.
Ultimately, the key objectives were achieved - the social entrepreneurs, experts, and government officials shared best practices in the sphere of social entrepreneurship and provided a comprehensive overview of possible ways to develop social entrepreneurship in the future.
The suggestions are as follow:
- Social entrepreneurs should get more legal support from both governments of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine;
- Tax allowances and support programs play an essential role in social entrepreneurship development;
- The importance of government support should not be underestimated, and is highly desirable for social enterprises, especially during the pandemic;
- Local authorities should take a more proactive position and adopt legal acts supporting social entrepreneurs at local level. Furthermore, it is important that they communicate with non-governmental institutions working in the field and coordinate cooperation with existing projects supporting social enterprises in their areas.
Participants also had a chance to watch videos and hear inspiring stories from young social entrepreneurs who managed to develop and launch their social start-ups during the pandemic.
"I feel pleased to participate in such a practical event with so many valuable tools for local governments and other actors,” said Ms Tatiana Golovchenko, the representative of the Agency for Regional Development in Kirovograd oblast, Ukraine. “The information we received during this conference will help us develop more effective measures to support social businesses in our region.”
The EUnlocking project
helps to foster the social entrepreneurial potential of young people in Moldova and Ukraine by establishing a favourable ecosystem for social enterprises, as well as by inspiring and supporting more young social entrepreneurs to develop and sustain their innovative solutions to the promotion of social inclusion and environmental sustainability across both countries.