What is social entrepreneurship?
A social organization, company, association, trade or any registered form of legal entity combines social goals with an entrepreneurial spirit. They focus on achieving broader social, environmental or community goals.
Social entrepreneurship arose at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century through the recognition of social economy practices – born from poverty alleviation initiatives, the appearance of the first cooperatives and self-help organizations. The real development of the social economy took place in the 1980s with the strong development of social cooperatives in Italy and the development of work integration models in France, Spain and Great Britain. The European Commission recognized the importance of social entrepreneurship and gave great support to its development through promotion, financing and sensitization of entrepreneurs.
In the general trend in which the world economy is dominated by profit, profit and profit again, crises occur that we are aware of especially in the last few years. The foundations of values that were deeply embedded in the capitalist approach were shaken. Social entrepreneurship offered a concrete answer to a series of challenges faced by humanity, especially to inefficient systems in the public sector and unsustainable business models.
“Social entrepreneurship represents a concept of economy that is based on three basic pillars: economic, environmental and social goals of the company’s activities. In accordance with the stated goals, the prominent principles of the activities of social enterprises are considered to be the continuous responsibility of organizations towards the community, democratic decision-making processes within organizations, community empowerment to achieve self-sustainability and respect for human rights. In recent years, a greater interest in social enterprises has been visible in Europe. Recent published data show that the social economy sector in the European Union employs more than 14.5 million people in a total of 11% of registered business entities (2 million organizations ), which makes up about 7% of the total working population of the European Union. Social entrepreneurship in Croatia is also considered a potential model for solving many social and economic problems and needs in the country, even though it is still in a very early stage of development.”, Manual on social entrepreneurship for entrepreneurial support institutions, by Sanja Živković and Tea Petričević.