On 26 January 2021, the Slovak Business Agency organised an online local stakeholder meeting bringing together their BRESE stakeholders for the first time in the new year. 19 interested representatives from Slovak Ministries, the academia, non-profit organizations and umbrella organizations for the support of social enterprises discussed “The EC activities in the field of social entrepreneurship support”.
As one of two speakers, Zuzana Dutkova from the European Commission´s DG Grow presented the Commission initiative ESER - European Social Economy Regions. The key objective of the ESER initiative is to raise awareness on social economy at regional and local level and build regional networks of social economy stakeholders with emphasis to
1) the social economy mission;
2) a comprehensive social economy community (online Platform);
and 3) the Social Economy CANVAS.
The second speaker, Monika Jakubcová from the Slovak Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, presented the interested particpants information on the Support of social entrepreneurship in Slovakia in the programming period 2021 - 2027.
During the discussions, several participants noted that funding was still the main issue for social entrepreneurs: they are often unable to access funding sources, despite the fact that they are available. Even if social entrepreneurs know about these sources, they often need professional assistance in applying for the financial contributions and ultimately, do not receive them. Moreover, the stakeholders highlighted that another big issue was the social enterprises´ need of professional business support, such as business plans, marketing, etc., after the social enterprise has been set up.
The first stakeholders meeting in Slovakia in 2021 successful and rendered fruitful discussions among the participants.