One of the possibilities and opportunities for young unemployed is the creation of a social enterprise. According to the coalition agreement, this is one of the key strategic projects. By 2020, the country has at least ten million euros in the European cohesion policy.  

The main purpose of social entrepreneurship is not to generate profits, even though it is not the case, since companies must be financially stable for their subsistence. However, they do not split the profits, but invest in their business again. It is governed by the Law on Social Entrepreneurship, which has been in force since 2012 and separates two types of social enterprises. The first aims to permanently pursue activities that ensure a higher quality of life, while others aim to permanently employ the most vulnerable groups in the labor market.

These companies have only a special status that indicates a non-profit-making purpose, they can be registered as legal entities of private law. The records of social enterprises in December show that 61 such companies operate in Slovenia (of which more than half were registered last year and in Pomurje and Podravje region), but there are more such companies than officially registered. This article includes information about the concept of social entrepreneurship. Also, it includes information about the situation of the state of the social enterprise in Spain. In addition, it lists each of the advantages of ICTs for social entrepreneurship, as well as the exemplification of ICT initiatives that are committed to social entrepreneurship.

NGO´s need the help of managers for their success

Tadej Slapnik, State Secretary in the Cabinet of the Prime Minister for this area, spoke on the public tribune on social entrepreneurship and co-operation. He explained that encouraging such companies is one of the central strategic priorities of the government. Jasmina Šupuk, the director of the Kara Institute and the leader of the project Carocikel, who deals with social entrepreneurship, described the market orientation of the project as a key characteristic, since it is possible to win the tender, but it is difficult to maintain the company. Marketability is a process that you get with time, but also creates many other positive effects that are not measurable. The problem of social entrepreneurship in Slovenia is the lack of cooperation with managers, but also misses the support of the local environment, which is almost self-evident abroad.

Legislative changes

“Both young and other target groups need to see the challenge in social enterprises, the ability to exploit their potentials, knowledge and capacities, and develop appropriate competencies for their entrepreneurial path.” It is also a way to develop, in cooperation with others, an entrepreneurial idea to realize on the market. For this purpose, there are spaces where individuals together can develop ideas and enter the market, the so-called “coopeling” or “coworking” spaces that have recently been established and are starting to operate throughout the country, say the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology , where they are already preparing legislation changes. These will focus on “unifying the statuses, expanding the activities and simplifying the registration of social enterprises and thereby eliminating administrative barriers.” Slapnik proposes such changes, which would make it easier for businesses to obtain loans and state guarantees. Considering the introduction of positive discrimination – by amending the Public Procurement Act, the state would order that ten percent of the required services or equipment be purchased from social enterprises on the tender.

Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek recently announced that, in the European cohesion policy, ten million euros will be reserved for social entrepreneurship by 2020 and will be earmarked by additional funds from the European Social Fund.

Such entrepreneurship has great potential in Slovenia, since it currently employs 0.5% of all employees, while in the European Union this percentage is 13 times higher, Slapnik describes. Which industries offer most business opportunities? It does not exclude any, but it sees a lot of possibilities in energy supply and self-catering. If it were to increase by one percent, it could get thousands of new jobs, notes.

Solar Cooperative: We looked for a fairer business model

An example of a successful company is the Solar Cooperative, which deals with green energy. Its representative, Tomaž Zver, explains that members of the cooperative are owners who want to energetically renovate their facilities. For now, there are municipalities among them, and later they want to attract companies and individual owners of buildings.

They did not specifically study the laws, but they found that the start of operations would greatly ease the country’s guarantees for borrowing credits for the realization of projects. The cooperative has signed long-term contracts for providing thermal supply to public buildings, thus achieving its short-term goal – to provide the necessary financial resources for its operations and to create a minimum surplus. “The amounts are currently small, amounting to 30,000 euros a year, but we are in a big expansion and we expect to have several contracts signed next year. Thus, the annual revenue of 2017 will exceed 200,000 euros. ”

To whom would I advise dealing with such entrepreneurship and whom would I advise? “The experience of the people who are starting to do this is crucial for a social enterprise or a cooperative to successfully start business. However, I refuse to be found by people who do not have experience in the free market, and they count on starting the company with the help of the state. This simply does not work, “says Zver.Both of them joined the Solar Cooperative Project with great entrepreneurial experience.

Coil: providing decent jobs for young people

Thus, entrepreneurship can certainly be one of the solutions for young unemployed people, say the Mladi Plus trade union. But this must not be a “marketing fly”, for which “established” patterns of entrepreneurship or over-dressing of young people are hidden, and which are used only because they have a more positive reference to the public “. His promotion as an instant solution is too little, they warn and say that in the context of such entrepreneurship, more must be done to ensure decent jobs for young people.

The latest figures from the Statistical Office of 2013 show that the unemployment rate for young people was 19.1 percent, which is above the EU average (18.5 percent). A good three-quarters of young employees in Slovenia then worked in the private sector. Since 2007, the number of self-employed young people has increased.

Source: Delo, Sandra Hanžič, notranja politika, ned, 05.04.2015