On 7th July 2014 in Veliko Turnovo was held a regional roundtable on "The Social Economy and Social Entrepreneurship in Bulgaria - Opportunities and Challenges Facing the Young People". The Economic and Social Council /ESC/ organized the meeting with the partnership of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy /MLSP/ and Veliko Turnovo Municipality. The forum brought together more than 60 people - local authorities, regional structures of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Economy and Energy /MEE/, the MLSP, representatives of the trade unions and employers' organizations, of the social enterprises in the region, students, teachers, experts.

The social economy is extremely popular in Europe and it is supported by the European Union Funds for the programming period 2014-2020. "With the upcoming discussion, we aim to raise the awareness of the local government and business on the opportunities and conditions for the development of social entrepreneurship, to promote the best practices of social enterprises in the region and to identify the opportunities for young people" said the ESC President Professor Lalko Dulevski at the opening of the event. He stressed that through a series of documents the ESC focused the public attention on the benefits, problems and challenges for the development of the social economy and social entrepreneurship in Bulgaria.

During the roundtable representatives of the three ministries introduced the opportunities provided by the Bulgarian operational programs - OP "Human Resources Development", OP "Science and Education for Smart Growth", OP "Competitiveness and Innovation" in the new programming period 2014-2020 and by the EU programs. The
MEE presented the project "TECHNOSTART" which launched this month and is aimed at students, doctoral candidates and up to 1 year graduates with innovative business ideas. Teodora Todorova from the MLSP clarified that there is an operational working group supporting the development of the social economy.

Many representatives of social enterprises, teachers and students took part in the ensuing discussion. The participants said that social enterprises are negatively affected not only by the shortage of financial resources but also by the lack of capable human capital. Social entrepreneurs rely on government to take measures to ensure privileged access to public procurement for social enterprises.

In conclusion, Professor Dulevski summarized that ESC is pleased about the interest in the topic and said that the Council will continue to organize such discussions in other regions of the country and all the proposals of these forums could be included in a future document.



is the “bridge” between citizens and the national government. Its mission is to support such “bridging” so as to facilitate the communication between the society and the national government. It is the new and modern institution of the civil dialogue.

The ESC's mission is to promote civil society organisations access to and involvement in the process of decision-making on strategic economic and social issues.

The main goal of ESC's operation is to enable different representatives of organised civil society to feel free to state their views whereas unanimity on matters of common interest is encouraged. The Council expresses and protects civil society interests by communicating agreed statements and proposals submitted by its members to the executive and legislative authorities.

Read More