Pilot Visit in Duga Resa, Croatia
The town of Duga Resa conducted their pilot visit on November 3, 2020. The meeting took place online and served as an exchange between project partners and stakeholders. Fortunately, project partners from all other countries, meaning Germany, Italy and Hungary, were able to participate in the meeting. Next to giving insights into the challenges and lessons learned during the pilot program, Duga Resa introduced their service provider and a selected pilot participant.
Key discussion points during the pilot visit were the challenges Duga Resa faced when implementing the pilot program. These are mainly the complex bureaucracy and lack of legislative context in the field of social entrepreneurship. Another general hurdle for social entrepreneurs is to achieve financial sustainability. These factors made it initially difficult to set up the pilot program, especially in the rural regions of Karlovac County. Of course, Covid-19 didn’t make things easier. Nevertheless, Duga Resa put in great work to bear with all the factors!
Lessons learned are that capacity building is of high importance, as networking among stakeholders can help to connect social entrepreneurs with investors and give them a business support network. Additionally, there needs to be more awareness raising, with the aim that resources for social entrepreneurs will increase in the future. Another important point is to keep up the motivation of participants during these difficult times.
Among others, one social entrepreneur was introduced: Misterion Riviera conducts ecological tours along the river of Kupa. They acknowledged the good mentoring during the program and confirmed the above-mentioned challenges. They say to improve the situation and encourage others to establish a social enterprise, the bureaucratic hurdles need to be minimized.