[TV Nova S] Social entrepreneurship as an opportunity for marginalized groups

It is estimated that between 200 and 500 social enterprises operate in Serbia, established with the aim of addressing some of the social problems, employing those for whom it is the only way to find work, such as homeless individuals, people with disabilities or intellectual challenges, and providing support to young people leaving foster care, victims of violence, and other marginalized groups. Although they have been present for over 15 years, few people in the country are aware of them, and they remain at the bottom of the entrepreneurial ladder.

Violeta Jovanović, Executive Director of NALED, spoke on NOVA S television about the Development Program, which includes various support measures. Social enterprises themselves are involved in the development of these measures in cooperation with the relevant ministry and a large number of stakeholders.

- One of the measures proposed by social enterprises for this Development Program is to allocate unused public spaces for their needs, such as organizing production, various workshops, trainings, or exhibition and sales spaces, which would help them reduce operating costs and make use of the spaces to benefit the communities in which they live," stated Jovanović.

Other targeted measures concern tax incentives for all social enterprises that employ these individuals, as well as social public procurement, on which NALED is working with the support of the Swedish government. This involves designing specific criteria that will help to further value social enterprises.

Jovanović also emphasized that citizens and businesses can support the work of social enterprises through their personal contributions, as these enterprises prioritize social missions over profit and therefore deserve our support.

- By purchasing their products and services, we do two things: we make a donation and we get a product or service with a purpose. We encourage citizens to help, volunteer, and support them financially to the extent that we can," Jovanović highlighted.

According to her, there are also plans for activities aimed at raising awareness in society about the work of social enterprises, given that this concept is often misunderstood by the public. The importance of social enterprises lies in reintegrating marginalized segments of society and providing them with new opportunities.

You can watch the full recording of the interview at the link.

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