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A Session on Social Entrepreneurship at EBRD Civil Society Programme/Annual Meeting

On May 13-15, 2015, Georgia is hosing Annual Meeting and Business Forum of the European Bank for Reconstructive and Development which attract over 2,000 participants from the EBRD region and shareholders’ countries, including the representatives of the private sector, governments, international community, civil society and media.

One of the flagship events of the Bank’s engagement with civil society within the Forum is Civil Society Program, which is being held since 2000 and gathers around 100 CSO representatives. The Program is designed in such a way to provide CSOs with ample opportunity to meet diverse range of stakeholders attending Annual Meeting and engage in discussions on policy related issues through panel discussions and roundtables open to all Annual Meeting’s participants.

During Civil Society Program, one of the parallel sessions on May 14, will be devoted to social entrepreneurship. In view of the emerging trend of civil society organizations embracing a business approach to fund their not-for-profit activities thus becoming de-facto social enterprises, the EBRD is currently looking at the market development of social enterprises in the EBRD region. Currently, the EBRD does not provide specific support to social enterprises.

The session entitled Between Private and Third Sector: Enabling and Financing Social Enterprises will try to answer the following questions: Can social enterprises learn lessons from MSMEs in accessing finance, entering new markets and applying innovation? Can models from MSME support efforts be applied to supporting the development of social enterprises in the EBRD region? Is social entrepreneurship a viable alternative funding method for NGOs looking to diversify funding away from dependence on donors? Are there innovative financing tools able to address emerging credit needs or could the legal framework support social enterprises by ensuring, for example, equitable taxation?

Eurasia Partnership Foundation’s Senior Program Manager, Viktor Baramia, will be among the key speakers of the session. He will provide the audience an overview about existing situation in Georgia with regard to social entrepreneurship and focus on the challenges and opportunities that the social enterprises face today.

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