In Romania, the social economy initiatives are still at the beginning, and thus the development of a specific legal framework, the coordination of the responsible institutions, the support and promotion of this type of initiatives are required. For the moment, social enterprises are present as economic units established by organisation without patrimonial purpose, aiming at achieving a general, local, or group interest (referred to as associations or foundations). These economic units can take the form of protected small and medium enterprises. Based on the characterisation of the social enterprises in the Argeş County by number, turnover and employed labour, a very low development level was assessed for them. This situation represents the effect of the following factors:
– lack of current capital at the level of the individual associations and foundations;
– absence of cooperation between associations and foundations, with the purpose of overcoming the financial or administrative difficulties occurred when a social enterprise is established;
– insufficient incentives for the social enterprises developed y the government;
– absence of a functional public-private partnership;
– weak development of entrepreneurial spirit at the level of the management of the associations and foundations.
SAR offered expertize for Arges County Council in order to select models of good practice for encouraging the social enterprises in the county. The models have been proposed by external partners of the Council and SAR analyzed for each of them the economic and social contexts in which has been developed and if or how can be transposed in Romania. Three public debates have been organized on this topic.