On October 19, 2018, Sofia Development Association invited 10 social entrepreneurs and experts in the area on the first Finances4Social Change workshop. The event brought together the regional stakeholder group in support of the project, and discussed barriers to scaling up social enterprises, good and bad practices, skills deficits and policy niches.
According to the participants, social entrepreneurship is seen primarily as a response to social needs, badly covered by public and private sector, a factor for social transformation and vocation of social activity. Social entrepreneurs are mostly active in the area of social actions, followed by education and training, personal services, food and social cohesion.
The main challenges social entrepreneurs face are insufficient funding, problematic legal framework and lack of accepted methodology to measure social impact. Entrepreneurs do not consider themselves competitive nationally or internationally. Skill need differ widely from pitching to financial literacy. Training leading up to certification is most preferred.
The workshop findings will be used for the development of region-wide Danube strategy in 2019.
The project is co-financed by the INTERREG DANUBE Programme, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance II (IPA II), the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) and the Hungarian Government. More information is available at http://www.interreg-danube.eu/approved-projects/finance4socialchange.