Representatives of social entrepreneurs from Moldova and Ukraine have established the first regional network of social entrepreneurs, following a resolution at the International Networking Forum organised in Kyiv on 27-28 January by the EU4Youth EUnlocking project.

In total, 92 participants attended the event, including 80 social entrepreneurs from the two countries. Participants discussed legal issues, market conditions, the state of social entrepreneurship, and perspectives and challenges for its development in both countries.

The discussion resulted in the decision to create a network to support social entrepreneurs and minimise the negative effects of the pandemic on the sector.

The network will support social entrepreneurs in their daily activities and contribute to the development of individual businesses and of social entrepreneurship in general, promote social enterprises, their products and services on the local and regional market, and serve as a platform for export and import activities.

Even though the EUnlocking project will end later this year, the project’s two implementing partners – Egalite International NGO in Ukraine and Eco-Razeni Association in the Republic of Moldova – have committed to manage the Network together until 2025. The two organisations will serve as the Network’s Secretariat and provide operational management for the meetings of the Network’s members.

The EUnlocking project helps to foster the social entrepreneurial potential of young people in Moldova and Ukraine by establishing a favourable ecosystem for social enterprises, as well as by inspiring and supporting more young social entrepreneurs to develop and sustain their innovative solutions to the promotion of social inclusion and environmental sustainability across both countries. The project is funded by the European Union under its EU4Youth Programme.