The first interactive map of social enterprises from Moldova, Ukraine and Romania, supported by the EU4Youth funding

11.07.2022 / Moldova

EU4Youth support helped create the first interactive map of social enterprises from Romania – Moldova – Ukraine.


150+ registered social enterprises from Moldova and Romania, social impact enterprises from Ukraine are now part of a community which will enable business, networking and learning opportunities! The process of registering on the map is free and continuous. Enterprises with a social mission that don’t have a legal certificate are also eligible for application. Moreover, the map  increases visibility and provides free promotion for the youth-led social start-ups created within the project (5 in Moldova, 1 in Ukraine).


🇺🇦 The map of social enterprises from Ukraine



🇲🇩 The Map of Social Enterprises from Moldova



The innovative digital platform will connect social enterprises with conscious buyers and companies driven by a strong social commitment. It was created within the EU4Youth – Social Innovation Impact – a strategic partnership!, a project led by ADV Romania – a pioneer in the social economy sector and youth inclusion. The organisation created the first social enterprise in 2008 to ensure the sustainability of its social projects and create jobs for youth with disabilities from the foster care system. Fourteen years later the social enterprise is the largest work integration social enterprise in Romania, won multiple awards and created 150+ job for people from vulnerable groups.


The vision for this platform is to enable a regional pole for the development of social entrepreneurship, spread awareness about a new way of doing business and showcase the impact of social entrepreneurs in contributing to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Social impact enterprises continue to develop despite limitations in legal frameworks. Trends show an increase in the creation of social start-ups

While the three neighboring countries are very different regarding the framework for social entrepreneurship, the red thread connecting visionary social entrepreneurs from Romania, Moldova and Ukraine is their ability to feel the vibe of the community and to understand its pains; their passion for crafting amazing services, customer experiences and unique products. They all share the desire to contribute to shared prosperity and are passionate about applying innovative practices.


The enterprises registered in the Map of Social Enterprise range from production to services and can be found in different economic sectors.


In the Republic of Moldova, the concept of social entrepreneurship came into legal use in 2017, when amendments were introduced to the Law on Entrepreneurship and Enterprises. The next significant steps in creating a favourable ecosystem for social enterprises came much later, also due to EU support, within two EU4Youth projects - EU4Youth – Social Innovation Impact – a strategic partnership! and EU4Youth - Unlocking the potential of young social entrepreneurs in Moldova and Ukraine. Advocacy components within the two projects helped shape the National Program for the Development of Social Entrepreneurship and The National Program for the Financing of Social Entrepreneurship. The programs are expected to get final approval by the end of 2022.


According to the data provided by the National Commission for Social Entrepreneurship in Moldova (a structure within the Ministry of Economy), in August 2022, there were 8 registered social enterprises, 4 of which are work integration social enterprises (meaning that at least 30% of the employees are  people from vulnerable groups). Nonetheless, the number of enterprises driven by a social impact is higher. At this moment, 17 social enterprises from Moldova have registered to appear on the interactive map of social enterprises.


In Ukraine, there is no legal framework for social enterprises. Still, the sector of impact entrepreneurship is on the rise. One of the most thriving regions is Vinnytsia. The 2020-2023 Social Entrepreneurship Development Program for Vinnytsia enabled the creation of many innovative social businesses that set a trend in the country and could serve as models of good practices even for countries with long history in social entrepreneurship. Since there is no legal framework or a data collection tool, there are no official data about the number of social enterprises.


The first database was created in 2017 and included 150 social start-ups (self-identified). But the data is neither accurate nor exhaustive since many organisations don't position themselves as social, even if a social mission drives them. One objective of the Accelerator Map of SE is to create a reliable data collection tool.  


In Romania, the Law of Social Enterprises (from 2015) created a favorable framework for attracting European Funds for the development of social enterprises. Currently, there are more than 2.600 certified social enterprises, but the entire social economy sector is estimated at 200.000+ organisations (including NGOs with economic activity, and coops).

Could the map of social enterprises be a tool for enabling support for Ukraine?

The war in Ukraine has put aside many plans of the plan the EU4Youth – Social Innovation Impact – a strategic partnership! project. Some activities had to be redesigned, and others had to be abandoned. One such example is the financing of three youth-led social enterprises that won the Accelerator of Social Enterprises competition. Unfortunately, just 1 of the 3 winners received the grant to start a social business since the other two young people have withdrawn from the project.


Still, the Map of Social Enterprises may provide a tool for supporting people in Ukraine. From our recent analysis, many enterprises included on the map are active even in these times of war. We can see that they are actively posting on their social media accounts and updating websites. Buying from these social enterprises would be the best way to support these organisations and the people behind them (employees and beneficiaries). Some of these social enterprises sell online and make international deliveries (two such examples are Vereta.Store and Another idea would be to pay for food from local bakeries (Goodbread) or even therapeutic, educational services for children and send them to people in need (Dunastan, Spring of Hope, Olanna).

The Interactive Map of Social Enterprises – a tool developed to ensure the sustainability of the project and to connect the social enterprises from Moldova and Ukraine to the European social economy ecosystem

The interactive map of social enterprises from MD-UA-RO will be an instrument useful for showcasing the impact of these structures in the community and will increase awareness about the need to support these social enterprises, through public policies and responsible buying.


This map will create the favourable framework for networking, market access and peer learning. The map provides an open-source virtual database containing information about the location of entities, the types of products and services supplied, the number of employees, the impact they have on their local communities from the perspective of their contribution to the Global Goals.


The enterprises that want to register on the map must provide detailed information about their activity and social impact. Thus, the EU4Youth funded project laid the foundation for the first Observatory of Social Entrepreneurship in Moldova – Ukraine - Romania.


Drawing the online interactive map of SE in the region is an element of added value and sustainability of project results. Mapping the social enterprises from the perspective of their contribution to the Global Goals will contribute to understanding the vital role of these structures in the sustainable development of communities. Consolidation of the public-private partnership in sketching public policies in each country will directly contribute to creating a favourable framework for social entrepreneurship and project sustainability.


The enterprises in this database will have access to unique resources and opportunities created by ADV Romania within different project and partnerships, thus creating synergies between EU funded project and different stakeholders.


The process of registering on the map of social enterprises is continuous and forever free. Social entrepreneurs will enjoy multiple benefits:

  •           being part of a community of visionary leaders who change local communities for the better
  •           free exposure and promotion at the national and international level
  •           free participation in events dedicated to social entrepreneurship
  •           free access to resources and funding opportunities for social entrepreneurship
  •          free and increased visibility
  •           more chances of identifying national and international partners

Future ambitions and plans

The next step in adding value and harnessing this tool's potential is to expand the map to all Eastern Partnership countries and connect it to other international databases. Together with organisations from Georgia and Armenia we have already applied for a recent EU4Youth call where one objective is to connect Georgia and Armenia to this map. Moreover, we will include this objective in all future applications (which will be available for EaP countries).


The message was sent.