Seminar: Social entrepreneurship and women

zene poduzetnistvo webOpatija, 7th May 2016 - Women's Initiative of HNS and the Political Academy of HNS in cooperation with the German liberal foundation Friedrich Naumann for Freedom organized a seminar "Social Entrepreneurship and Women".

Seminar was attended by the deputy president of HNS Predrag Štromar as well as more than 120 members of the Women's Initiative from all over Croatia.

During the one-day seminar, participants analyzed important topics related to potential of social entrepreneurship in Croatia. Vedran Kružić, former assistant minister of economy for trade, presented the strategy on development of social entrepreneurship in Croatia. Sebastjan Pikl, director of Institute Novum from Ljubljana spoke on the possibilities of financing social entrepreneurship initiatives, while good practices were presented by Zagorka Prce Veseli, coordinator of development programs of the Centre of Technical Culture from Rijeka, Renata Krišić, secretary of the Association of Youth Alfa Albona from Labin and Božica Peruško, director of the Social Co-partnership CONTUS from Pula.

Social entrepreneurship is an important pillar of European economy which represents nearly 10 percent of GDP and employs more than 11 million people or 5 percent of workers. One quarter of new business established each year is a social co-partnership, and this number increases to one-third in France, Finland and Belgium. Social co-partnerships have proven themselves most stable during the recent economic crisis, marking also an increase in employment and income. For this reason, social economy is considered to be a vital lever in stimulating economic growth and combating poverty. In Croatia, social entrepreneurship is still in its infancy, despite several bright examples of success.

Women's Initiative of HNS wants to participate in recognizing the potential of such entrepreneurship, while underlining the role of women in its development. Women bring special experiences, knowledge and skills that we want to advance by holding this seminar with the assistance of the Political Academy of HNS and its partners the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.

While business owners around the world are mostly men, when it comes to social entrepreneurship, the gap in ownership between men and women is a lot smaller. In the newest report of the Global Monitor on Entrepreneurship states that initiators of social projects are equally men and women. Women's Initiative of HNS can confirm that this trend is the same in Croatia. More ever, a research conducted by Sonja Konig a year ago shows that 57 percent of sampled organization had women leaders. Social entrepreneurship, therefore, can present a key factor for a stable and sustainable economic growth, though many challenges remain in further developing this area of the economy. With this seminar, Women's Initiative of HNS contributed to the greater understanding of social entrepreneurship and dealt with challenges faced by social entrepreneurs in their work.

The seminar ended with following conclusions:

1. Women's Initiative of HNS supports the development of social entrepreneurship in Croatia, underlining its potential for employing women, especially in managing positions.
2. Women's Initiative of HNS will remain open to cooperation with all participants of social entrepreneurship and will continue to follow and propose legislative solutions that will enable better conditions for social businesses.
3. Women's Initiative of HNS will continue to contribute to better understanding of social entrepreneurship and promoting social entrepreneurs and talk about challenges faced by entrepreneurs, while highlighting the role of women in this sector.

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