Social Economy Without Borders


Organization for Social Innovation “ARNO” – Macedonia
Salvation Army – Czech Republic
Commune Revfulop – Hungary
Municipality of Krobia – Poland

Leading Organisation :

Barka Foundation for Mutual Help


Visegrad Found

The welfare system in Macedonia, Czech Republic, Hungary and in Poland is still passive. Social Economy as a tool for social and professional reintegration has not been fully recognized.

Main aim of the project is to show solutions for social economy, which where implemented  in Poland. We have in Poland holistic and complementary legal system which consists of Law on Social Cooperatives, Law on Centers of Social Integration, Law on Social Enterprices and Law on Public Prucurement with social clauses. Barka had a leading role in implementing this legal system on social economy in cooperation with former Vice Prime -minister Jerzy Hausner.

The aim of the project is to educate the staff of civic sociaty association, local comunes, and to show how to develope active policy system which create more work places, more active approach insted of offering social benefits. In the participating countries there is a need for implementation of Social economy eco-system and empowering Social Economy development. Social economy provides an answer to social needs and exclusion, and it combats the passive policy system. Social economys support social and professional reintegration of the homeless, disabled, addicted, unemployed, minorities e.g. the Roma people. Presentation of good practices of Social Economy legislation. Support system with access to funding is needed; implementation of culture of cooperation rather than competition among local partners. The regions will benefit from the project by: • mutual learning on different Social Economies models and eco-system for development of. partnerships, public procurement, financing tools. •Funding capital for selection of existing Social Economy places and Centres of Social Integration.

Organisation of internship for 11 participants from the Cz, HU and MK in Social Enterprises in Wielkopolska region (Poland).
Organiser: Barka Foundation
Duration: 5 days ( including 1 day seminar on the situation on SE in PL).
The aim of the internship is to learn about how different types of social enterprises function in Poland and how they aquire skills to run SE.
Initial programme of the Internship:

  • Arrival of 11 participants in Poland/ Poznan. -Introductory meeting.
  • Presentation of programme of internship.
  • Presentation of Social Enterprises
  • Discussions on expectations of participants
  • 11 participants will spend 4 days at 3 different locations across Wielkopolska region.

Semiar for 50 persons. The group will spend one day having the seminar. The aim of the seminar is to gather specific knowledge about the legal context, financial possibilities and support eco-system for development and strengthening the Social Enterprises.


Seminar in Macedonia, Skopje, between 29/09/2019—05/10/2019

Seminar is organized to discuss the following:

  • The level of development of Social Economy in Macedonia ( legislation, support structures, financing system, public prucurement, etc.) ;
  • The main barriers for development of Social Economy.
  • Exploration of possible activities including solutions and good practices implemented in other countries.
  • During the seminar the Study visit will be organized in civic society organisation / social enterprise to facilitate mutual learning and cross-fertilisation of ideas and good practices.

Duration: 4 days.
Participants: 8 representatives from participating countries together with Macedonian representatives from civil society / local municipalities, job centres, social welfare centres; thanks to this seminar the concept of SE will be better recognized and developed, awareness will be raised.CSOs will be inspired to follow the SE path and create work places for the disadvantaged and also to be more self-sufficient. The knowlegde on SE will be popularized.


Seminar in Czech Republic, Praque,  between 25/10/2019—30/10/2019

During seminar discussed will be: the levels of development of Social Economy in Cz.

  • The main barriers for development of Social Economy.
  • Exploration of possible activities including solutions and good practices implemented in other countries.
  • During the seminar a study visit will be organized in civic society organisations / social enterprises to facilitate mutual learning and cross-fertilisation of ideas and good practices.


Seminar in Hungry, Revfulop, between 15/11/2019—30/11/2019

During the seminar discussed will be: the level of development of Social Economy in Hungary. First of all the partner’s organization represents 31 local municipalities from the Tapolca region. – including commune Révfülöp which is a member of the Association of 31 Communes of Tapolca region. The main aim of the Association is to support its member municipalities in executing social tasks, such as social catering, domestic support for the elderly and those in need as well as family and children care. The Association supervises and organises the activities of the Balaton Upland Regional Health Care System. The association can be perceived as a SE themselves. Their activity and cooperation will be presented.
We will also discuss:

  • The main barriers for development of Social Economy in Hungary.
  • Exploration of possible activities including solutions and good practices implemented in other countries.

Discussions on the concept of pilot Social Enterprise to be supported within the project in Hungary.
-During the seminar, a study visit will be organized in civic society organisations / social enterprises in region of Tapolca to facilitate mutual learning and cross-fertilisation of ideas and good practices. Thanks to this seminar, representatives of local municipality will gain a deeper awareness on SEs existance in Hungry, (where the law on social cooperatives had been implemented). Also CSOs are interested to develop SEs. However we have no comprehensive information as yet about the work and outputs of this sector. Collaboration with local government offices is not always smooth, since mayors do not immediatly see the benefits of social cooperatives in the provision of community services. Such seminar can empower the cooperation beween CSOs, SEs and local municipalities. The knowlegde on SEs will increase. Good practices will be presented which will be an indication of the possitive attitudes in the society.


International Conference in Poland, Poznan, between 01/03/2020—10/03/2020

Initial Programme of Conference

  • Introductory remarks.
  • Presentation from 4 partners on conclusions from the seminars and internship.

We will present: – Legal solutions in MK, HU, CZ, PL

  • Public procurement solutions in those countries
  • Support structures for SE in the legal, financial, technical & environmental fields.

Participants will discuss and compare the situation on SE in different countries. They will have an opportunity to learn and borrow solutions from other countries to empower SEs development. All promotional materials will be published/purchased from social enterprises. Food catering will be commissioned to be organised by SE entities.

Through the participation of partners from MK, HU, CZ in the internship programme in Poland, knowledge and skills required to run SE will be aquired/strengthened. Through 4 seminars in each participating country the situation on SE will be recognized and barriers in developing SE will be defined. Prepared will be a conference to present knowlegde on SE, e- publication to promote SE concept. Pilot support for creation of SEs or/and centres for professional reintegration (10 SEs will be supported to gather practical experiences on runing SE and receive guidance about what kind of support system is required). Through the above mentioned activities we will contribute to: – providing the partners with skills on functioning of different types of SEs: running SE, dealing with the excluded, motivating them to take an active aproach, building local market for services and products , building partnerships between SEs and with local municipalities and the private sector; – knowledge on SE: legal forms of SE, financing of SE, support structures, social clauses in public procurement, etc. -motivation of CSOs and public administration towards turning the passive welfare system into the active one – promoting SE at the regional and national level among CSOs, welfare system instituions such as job centres, government ministries, universities, private sector, media. – building an informal international exchange platform of good practice, sharing ideas, experiences among partners. -raising public awareness about SE;

Barka’s experience as a project leader

Barka Foundation was established in 1989 as a response to increasing social problems during transformation years. In 1989, the founders set up the first Barka community, where they lived together with the poor. Mission: social and professional reintegration; for 30 years Barka has been creating models of social enterprises. Based on those pioneering projects Barka co-created 4 legal acts with MLSP: (1) on Public Benefit Organisations, (2)Social Employment, (3) Social Cooperatives, (4) the Public Procurement with social clauses. Currently there are about 2500 social cooperatives, 180 centres of social integration, 120 Centres for Vocational Activation of the Disabled and many social companies are following theBarka model. Currently Barka runs the Centre for SE support and bulids local partnerships for economy of solidarity with local municipalities. Barka has been globally recognised.

Barka develops self-sufficient communities where the homeless live together in a community rebuilding and running abandoned farms, breed animals and plant vegetables. Barka develops the professional training, educational programs, entrepreneurship development and accessible housing engaging not only the individuals in need but also the governments, local municipalities, CSOs and private companies in Poland and abroad. Barka runs many such projects eg. EU project Equal „Social Economy in Practice”; coordination of project in Macedonia „Fostering Solcial Economy”, representative of Barka was chosen as a memeber of National Council of SE in Poland in 2018-2022; Barka runs the Support Centre for SEs from 2005- until now. It created approx. 1000 work places. The Centres of Support to Social Economy provide financial assistance (initial capital) and legal support to newly established social enterprises.