News for social entrepreneurs in the Republic of Moldova: social enterprises can benefit from subsidies ranging from 50% to 300% of the costs of monthly taxes and contributions paid from the salaries of employees from disadvantaged categories.

The „EU4Youth – Unlocking the potential of young social entrepreneurs in Moldova and Ukraine” (EUnlocking) project team, together with the social entrepreneurs’ community and with the financial support of the European Union, has succeeded in including social enterprises among the beneficiaries of state subsidies in the field of job creation and maintenance for unemployed people, especially those with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups.

Thus, as of 2021, social enterprises have access to subsidies for the costs of monthly taxes and contributions paid from the salaries of employees from disadvantaged categories.

Dumitru Braga is 33 years old and is the manager of the social insertion enterprise „Floare de cireș” SRL from Razeni village. The entrepreneur shared his experience in accessing state subsidies during the online information sessions held by the #EUnlocking project in September and October 2021. Dumitru encouraged the more than 80 participants in the information sessions (young social entrepreneurs and NGO representatives) to take advantage of this opportunity, which is easy to access.

„Especially now in the pandemic period and the restrictions imposed by the authorities on the catering sector, in which the social enterprise I represent operates, access to subsidies helps us enormously to keep jobs and wage levels for 14 young people with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups in rural areas,”

Dumitru said.

According to the new Regulation on subsidised employment, social enterprises can receive subsidies ranging from 50% to 300% of the costs of monthly taxes and contributions paid from the salary of employees in disadvantaged categories, in monetary terms, this would mean between 100 EUR and 300 EUR per month per employee.

The project team provided social entrepreneurs and interested persons with support materials and model documents to facilitate access to the grants, which are available on the project partners’ websites.

To achieve this result, the EUnlocking project carried out several advocacy activities, such as public consultations, national conference, awareness raising campaign to highlight the importance of state involvement in supporting and developing social entrepreneurship in the country.

The social entrepreneurship is a relatively new practice in the Republic of Moldova, which is regulated by the legislation since 2017. The legislation provides for several measures to promote and support social enterprises, but at the practical level, due to the lack of methodological implementation rules and several legislative gaps, they are applied with difficulty.

The project „EU4Youth – Unlocking the potential of young social entrepreneurs in Moldova and Ukraine” contributes to fostering the social entrepreneurial potential of young people in Moldova and Ukraine by creating an enabling ecosystem for social enterprises, as well as inspiring and supporting more young social entrepreneurs to develop and sustain their innovative solutions for promoting social inclusion and environmental sustainability in both countries. The project is co-funded by the European Union through the EU4Youth Programme.

The project is implemented between 2020 and 2022 by a consortium of partner organisations: Gustav-Stresemann-Institut (GSI) from Germany, Pro NGO! (Germany), AXA Management Consulting (Moldova), Eco-Răzeni (Moldova), CONTACT Centre (Moldova) and Egalite International (Ukraine).