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Mapping of Social Enterprises in Serbia - SeConS

The study shows results of the first mapping of social enterprises in Serbia published in 2007. According to the results of the mapping, there are 1 160 enterprises corresponding to social enterprises. They employ about 0.5 percent of the total number of employees in Serbia

Social enterprises are private, autonomous, entrepreneurial organizations that do not tend to maximize profit for stakeholders, but to re-invest it in social goals: support to vulnerable groups of society, local development or environmental protection. They are found in various areas of business, and particularly significant are social enterprises which provide training and working integration of less employable groups. When enterprises for persons with disabilities are excluded, employment conditions for vulnerable groups in social enterprises are not particularly favourable.

The dominant type of social enterprises are agricultural cooperatives, which is why most social enterprises are located in Vojvodina. Most of them were established after 2000. Almost a half of citizens association providing support to socially vulnerable groups were established during the socialism, while citizens association focused on environmental protection and local development are relatively a new phenomenon.

Two major problems common to a large number of organizations matching to SE criteria: lack of resources and unfavourable legal framework. There are a number of other problems as well, but they differ depending on the type of organisation. The report also proposes adequate recommendations for further actions in this sector in Serbia.