On 12th October in Rimavská Sobota the seminar named Restart of Social Entrepreneurship in Slovakia was organized in town of Rimavská Sobota, in Gemer region. The seminar makes part of Interreg project Social entrepreneurship in Sparsely Populated Areas (SOCENTSPAs), funded by European Union.

The main topic of the seminar was up-to date due to current carriage of Law on Social Economy and social enterprises. The invitation for the seminar received mayors, entrepreneurs, members of the local action groups, public administration and other stakeholders of the Gemer region.

Michal Smetanka spoke about purpose and social value of social economy in general. Being one of the founders of social enterprise in Spišský Hrhov, he introduced to audience the good example of the municipal social enterprise. The municipality of Spišský Hrhov was depicted by ‘The New York Times’.

The Law on Social Economy which is in carriage process was introduced by Ingrid Ujváriová from Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of Slovak Republic, together with her colleagues from the working group: Gabriela Korimová and Ivan M,ako. It is positive that stakeholders from the third sector were actively participating and contributing to the new law as well.

Ivan Mako brought first-hand experience of social enterprise providing laundry and ironing works in Valaská. They employ disadvantaged and marginalized people, mostly with Roma background. The task of their organisation Association of Young Roma (Združeniemladých Rómov) is to prepare their employee for the next stage: to be successful on the opened labour market. Their work was rewarded by international platform Impact HUB and depicted by media as well.

Similar mission of transition to open labour market undertakes enterprise established by municipality of Banská Bystrica: presented by Mária Filipová a Milena Maková.

Business breakfast in social agriculture

Activity took place on 13th December 2017 in municipality called Muránska Dlhá Lúka in Gemer region. The main topic of the presentations and discussions was social agriculture as a mean of social entrepreneurship and employing of disadvantaged groups on the labour market.

The concept of social agriculture is not widely known and spreaded in Slovakia, nevertheless there are existing examples that can be inspiring. Mr. Miloslav Kováč from non-for-profit organisation Druživapresented good practice examples of social agriculture activities abroad and in Slovak environment as well.

Mrs. Magdaléna Lacko-Bartošová from Slovak Agriculture University in Nitra, presented to the audience a project realized in V4 countries which aim was to map existing examples of social agriculture in Slovakia.

Despite lacking accurate legislation, there are several agricultural entreprises that employ disadvantaged groups on the labour market. One of the examples was introduced to the audience by Mrs.Marta Tóthováfrom non-for-profit organisation Oáza – nádej pre novýživot. This organisation, settled in Košice, is one of the first one that succeeded toestablish social enterprisein the area ofagriculture. Their target group are homeless people and the main aim is to provide them with support on their path to more active, purposeful and inclusive everyday life.

We are looking forward to the next inspiring meeting with stakeholders in Gemer region.