Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 30/10/2013

Peer Review in Croatia: Social entrepreneurship and other models to secure employment for those most in need

A Peer Review held in Zagreb (Croatia) in October 2013 examined how social entrepreneurship can both support the economic recovery and combat social exclusion by integrating disadvantaged people into the labour market.

© OESB Consulting GmbH

Host Country: Croatia

Date: 29-30 October 2013

Peer countries: Czech Republic - Finland - France - Greece - Italy - Lithuania - Romania - Slovenia - United Kingdom

Stakeholder: ENSIE (European Network of Social Integration Enterprises)

Europe’s social economy, which fared better than many other sectors during the crisis, is well positioned not only to supply goods and services in ethical ways and in response to local needs, but also to employ disabled or vulnerable people. The Peer Review focused on how Croatia is aiming to boost this sector through its Strategy for Social Entrepreneurship (2014-2020). Important connections between programmes aiming to employ disadvantaged groups –particularly unemployed young people – and the EU 2020 strategy were emphasised.

The Peer Review included a site visit to a new business centre offering space and advice to start-ups (Hub Zagreb) and presentations from three social entrepreneurs who have benefited from Hub support.

Lessons learned

  • Countries need to develop a broad policy framework to nurture social entrepreneurship. Flexible rules on state aid and public procurement are important.
  • The crisis has resulted in new challenges but also learning opportunities; finding ways adjusting to the changed context can inspire previously unexplored approaches and fresh ideas.
  • Other crucial elements include: start-up finance and ongoing support for growth and sustainability, as well as networking programmes.
  • Work integration social enterprises need to expand employment opportunities for all disadvantaged groups, for example the Youth Guarantee should not crowd out support for other groups in need.

Peer Review manager

Ms Renate Haupfleisch (ÖSB Consulting GmbH)


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