Social entrepreneurship in Slovakia
In Slovakia, social entrepreneurship has a legal framework governed by Act 112/2018 on the social economy and social enterprises (1). Companies who apply and are then listed in a specific registry of social entrepreneurs coordinated by the Ministry of Employment, Family and Social Affairs of The Slovak Republic, can receive incentives listed in the Act. In Slovakia, a very common form of social entrepreneurship is besides registered companies, a sheltered workshop that can have any business form (e.g. Ltd). In general, there are more companies with a social aspect than those in the Registry regulated by the Act. There is also a possibility in the Act on public procurement 343/2015 for public institutions to reserve the right to participate in public procurement only for registered integration social enterprises, sheltered workshops (2). The social entrepreneurship is emerging in Slovakia gradually and young people are eager to work on issues with positive social impact. The companies have to deal with a lack of funding opportunities as specific grants and opportunities to finance social entrepreneurship that is still limited in Slovakia. Social entrepreneurs can receive funding thanks to e.g. bank loans (e.g.: “social bank concept“ by Slovenská Sporiteľňa (Erste group)). Small steps are taken within national programmes of structural funds – namely Operational Programme Human Recourses – which offers possibility to apply for grants from national structural funds, that prepares calls for projects targeting social and societal issues (3). There are also limited opportunities for training of social entrepreneurs, and these opportunities are rather occasional dependent on the availability of grants. In general, there are plenty of opportunities to gain training for business skills (incubators, accelerators, mentoring), but training and education with the social entrepreneurship concept isare still missing. The most common approach of training and education for social education are different courses provided whether as workshops, or online courses. Among the first educational activities in the form of online courses, workshops or 8-week long incubation program was created by the Academy of Social Economy (4).