28 speakers, 25 national and international partners, simultaneous translation into 3 languages, 16 countries, 1242 recordings at the event and 9 hours of live broadcast - this was the size of the first conference dedicated to social economy in Romania. An international event, organized by the "Alaturi de Voi" Romania Foundation (ADV) with the contribution of the European Union.
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On May 13, 2021, Iasi hosted the first edition of the European conference "Enterprising for Tomorrow - Social Entrepreneurship & Youth Engagement". The event hosted 28 national and international speakers, in a 9-hour live broadcast, from a specially arranged location in Iasi. During the event, the trends in this field were highlighted and several innovative tools for the social economy sector were presented: the launch of AFIN - the first IFN dedicated to financing social enterprises in Romania; development of the first Observatory of social enterprises in the Cross-Border Region - Romania, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine; the interactive map of social enterprises that will be connected to the European map of ENSIE; the competition “Accelerator of Social Enterprises” for the development of 8 social enterprises among young people from the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.
"We are happy to host here, in Iasi, an event of such an importance to the social economy sector. This type of economy focused on the well-being of the individual will have an overwhelming role in creating and developing sustainable social enterprises, with a positive impact on people, communities and the environment”, said Angela Achiței, President of the "Alaturi de Voi" Romania Foundation (ADV), main organizer of the event.
Social economy, a field under development in the Republic of Moldova and in Ukraine as well
The event was an opportunity to present the social economy sector in the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.
Vasile Vulpe, Head of the Economic Policy and Business Environment Department, Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure of the Republic of Moldova presented, on this occasion, the National Program for the Development of Social Entrepreneurship in the Republic of Moldova, 2021-2025, which is already undergoing legislative approval during the next period of time.
Iulia Costin, General Director of ODIMM - Organization for the Development of the SME Sector in the Republic of Moldova, presented the National Program for Financing and Mentoring for Social Enterprises.
Tatiana Vygovskaia-Kamenko, CEO of Egalite International, presented the social entrepreneurship sector in Ukraine and said that social entrepreneurship is not a priority for the Ukrainian government and that there are few financial instruments for social entrepreneurs.
The European plan for the development of the social economy sector
Dragos Pislaru, member of the European Parliament, present at the conference, provided details of the European Plan for the development of the social economy sector for the coming years, which will bring a new perspective of development and investment in this field. "Investing in the sector is crucial to maximizing the social impact that these social enterprises can have. At the same time, it is essential to correlate the 4 actions: the legislative field, the completion of the single market, supporting access to finance for social economy and supporting innovation and development", said Dragoș Pîslaru. The investment measures in the sector must reach some transversal key objectives at the level of several institutions and actors from social economy, added the Romanian MEP.
Also present at the conference, the Mayor of Iasi, Mihai Chirica, stressed the importance of involving the authorities and professionals in the integration of people from vulnerable groups, as well as to include responsible social procurement from social enterprises, which would ease the pressure on public budgets.
"Responsible procurement from authorized social enterprises or social economy entities is a gain for both parties - the purchaser will cover their needs and the vulnerable group will find a job and earn a living, better integrating socially and professionally", stated Mihai Chirica.
A new edition of the conference "Enterprising for tomorrow" will take place next year, on May 13, 2022.
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