A fund to invest in social enterprises and other business that have an impact on the population, but are not social enterprises is necessary in Moldova, said Ana Ciurac, project officer at East Europe Foundation, which is one of the organizations that support social entrepreneurship in Moldova.
In a news conference hosted by IPN, Ana Ciurac said that East Europe Foundation since 2014 has offered grants for creating or developing social enterprises to civil society organizations. The European Union and Sweden have financed this sector and owing to them there are social enterprises that develop activities and support vulnerable groups in the country.
She noted that there are now a number of projects that aim to enable SCOs to develop and create social enterprises. Based on the experience regarding such organizations, she realized that the financial resources needed to develop social enterprises are limited and are based on grants. Alternative financing is needed, like an investment fund.
This way, together with a limited liability company, they managed to create an impact fund that was presented in a thematic event called Impact Days. Through this fund, they aim to collect money from large investors, corporations that are interested in supporting small businesses or impact business models at the local level by an investment that will be provided to social enterprises through a very clear selection mechanism. In a period, these will need to return the money to the fund so that it is invested further.
Another segment refers to lending to large companies that want to export and loans are provided to large companies or, if they cannot repay the loan, a mechanism can be applied by which the fund purchases shares from the social capital of these enterprises.
Aina Idrisova, secretary of the Platform for Social Entrepreneurship Development and a representative of Ecovisio Association, said the European Political Community Summit is an opportunity for developing the social economy and social enterprises in the Republic of Moldova. The sector necessitates greater support and the funds that come from Europe and from other donors support and promote processes to conceptualize the legislation and improve the legal framework. An international program with a number of projects will start soon and emphasis will be placed on the promotion of the concept of social entrepreneurship in the educational sector as this aspect is now ignored.
Sergiu Gurău, executive director of the public association Eco-Răzeni, a founding member of the Platform for Social Entrepreneurship Development, said that representatives of the European Parliament and the European Commission realize the importance of social economy and come with powerful messages in support of this sector, including with the commitment to financially support it. He believes that the Moldovan authorities should follow this example.
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