Bulgaria-Greece cross-border conference

site.btaSouth-Western Municipalities Association Presents Project Providing Support for Social Enterprises

South-Western Municipalities Association Presents Project Providing Support for Social Enterprises
South-Western Municipalities Association Presents Project Providing Support for Social Enterprises
Iliana Tsvetanova, Association of South-Western Municipalities, addressing the conference, Blagoevgrad, April 16, 2024 (BTA Photo)

The project “Providing Support for Social Enterprises” focuses on the impact of social enterprises, said here on Tuesday the coordinator of the Association of South-Western Municipalities (ASWM), Iliana Tsvetanova. She was speaking at the 5th Bulgaria-Greece cross-border conference, held as part of BTA's project "Europe in the Balkans: A Common Future". The conference was held simultaneously in Thessaloniki and Blagoevgrad.

The project aims to determine the impact of social enterprises measured in terms of labour integration in the cross-border region and to develop support structures to strengthen the capacity of social enterprises in this framework. 

The project has developed supportive structures, including one help desk on both sides of the Bulgarian-Greek border. These structures will support social entrepreneurship through counselling, training, business development services, networking of social enterprises, Tsvetanova said. It has effectively introduced the measurement of social impact in the daily operations of social enterprises, which has led to a change in the understanding of social entrepreneurship, she added.

Within the project three manuals have been created, focusing on the preparation of start-up social enterprises and on existing financial instruments in Bulgaria aimed at social enterprises. All three manuals are bilingual - in Bulgarian and in Greek. They are available electronically on the official website of the Association, Tsvetanova said.

The Association of South-Western Municipalities was established in 2000, initially with the participation of 14 municipalities from Blagoevgrad Region. Currently, 25 municipalities from the South-West Region are members. The ASWM has successfully implemented more than 40 projects in various spheres of socio-economic life, most of which are cross-border and transnational.

The cross-border conference "Europe in the Balkans: a Common Future", which is taking place today in Thessaloniki and Blagoevgrad, is part of a project that BTA is implementing with the support of the European Commission. It builds on the already implemented project "Europe in Bulgaria: A Common Future". Among the objectives of the project are a better understanding of the role of cohesion policy with a focus on the Balkans, raising awareness of projects funded by the EU through cohesion policy, promoting an open dialogue on the results of its implementation at local level, as well as civic participation on issues related to cohesion policy.

/RY, DS/

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By 02:51 on 29.05.2024 Today`s news

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