The Social Enterprise Law was adopted by the Parliament on 12 October, 2017 and came into force on 1 April, 2018. The purpose of the Social Enterprise Law is to improve the quality of life and to promote employment for groups at risk of social exclusion, through creation of an economic environment supportive to social enterprises. The Law creates the legal framework by providing both the criteria for obtaining the status of a social enterprise and the procedure for state support for this type of entrepreneurship.
A social enterprise as defined in the Social Enterprise Law is a limited liability company which has been granted the status of a social enterprise in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Law and which conducts an economic activity creating a positive social impact (e.g., provision of social services, formation of an inclusive civil society, promotion of education, support for science, protection and preservation of the environment, animal protection, or ensuring of cultural diversity).
A decision to grant the status of a social enterprise is taken by the Ministry of Welfare. The Register of Social Enterprises is maintained and published on the website of the Ministry of Welfare.
The Commission for Social Enterprises is established to provide a motivated opinion to the Ministry of Welfare on the compliance of the applicant with the status of a social enterprise.
Meanwhile the ESF co-funded project “Support for Social Entrepreneurship” has been launched by the Ministry of Welfare in 2016. The purpose of the project is to identify and verify the optimal solutions for creation and development of social enterprises, including the support to work integration. The project includes such activities as awareness raising measures about the social enterprises, their role and possible contribution for economic growth and society, as well as the development of a support system for social enterprises and the promotion of social start-ups. Financial grants for social enterprises, both start-ups and already operating companies, and wage subsidies for employing vulnerable groups are provided within the project.