AktiBiz - social entrepreneurship of NGOs for a stable community #
In the Croatian context, NGOs are mostly unrecognized as active or potential entrepreneurs, often even by NGOs themselves. Responding to that situation, NGO “Eko-Zadar” designed and implemented the project “AktiBiz”, financed by the European Social Fund.
Problem addressed #
Social entrepreneurship in Croatia is not regulated by law or supported by the tax system. There is a Strategy for the development of social entrepreneurship, but it has not been implemented, and a register of social entrepreneurs has not been established. This results in a situation in which the general public does not know the goals of social entrepreneurship or distinguish it from corporate social responsibility. In addition, social entrepreneurs are not sufficiently networked in order to advocate for the enacted legislation or to present themselves to the public, and to engage the public with the goals of social entrepreneurship.
Objectives & implementation #
The purpose of this project was twofold – to establish a model of social entrepreneurship of NGOs, and to strengthen citizens’ awareness of social entrepreneurship as a generator of sustainable community development. Although the primary focus was on associations, the project also include social entrepreneurs in the private sector.
In order to achieve the stated goals, first the association “Eko-Zadar” transferred its economic activities according to the principles of social entrepreneurship and provided education to its employees in this regard. After that, an informal network of social entrepreneurs was established as a virtual place for the exchange of knowledge and experience among existing social entrepreneurs in Croatia, as well as a place of support and advice for those interested in becoming a social entrepreneur.
Taking into account that informal networks have a tendency to dissolve, in order to prevent this, a website with an offer of products of social enterprises was designed and implemented as a focal point of gathering of social entrepreneurs.
With the aim of presenting the objectives and problems of social entrepreneurs in Croatia to the public, a Conference on the topic and a Social Entrepreneurship Fair was organised in October 2022.
Other actions that were carried out were:
– the design and sending of 8 newsletters.
– A website promotion campaign, in which entrepreneurs presented their products.
– 10 news items were published in different regional media.
The partners on this projects were NGO Prospero, as more experienced partner in the field of social entrepreneurship and Agency for rural development of Zadar county – AGRRA
The main stakeholders were NGO “Eko-Zadar” and NGO “Prospero” and the beneficiaries were social entrepreneurs in Croatia.
Fields of application #
Social economy for building communities more socially resilient in situation of crises.
The results of the project are applicable to other parts of the Republic of Croatia. Namely, the “Eko-Zadar” association, by switching to a social-entrepreneurial model of economic activity, became a social-entrepreneurial example of good practice applicable to other associations as well.
Impact & Results #
Employees of NGO “Eko-Zadar” are educated to provide advisory services to associations and others who want to start a social enterprise or transform their business in accordance with social entrepreneurship principles.
NGO “Prospero” and NGO “EKo-Zadar” continue to coordinate the informal network of social entrepreneurs gathered around the web page, and the web page itself, in order to provide a virtual place for the exchange of knowledge and experience among social entrepreneurs in the Republic of Croatia, as well as a place of support and advice for those interested in becoming social entrepreneurs. Also, on this page social entrepreneurs have the opportunity to offer their products to the public in one place.
External links #
Link to project’s web page for further information: https://www.drustveno-poduzetnistvo.eu/