SMART START NETWORK

SMART START NETWORK

SMART START NETWORK

Vision

Smart Start Network is an important factor that contributes to the promotion of a more favorable environment for social enterprises and CSO's with economic activities, according to positive standards in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.

Background

The network was founded in 2016 through the Smart Start project initiated by the Center for the Promotion of Civil Society in response to the organization of the existing state of social entrepreneurship in CSO's in WB and Turkey and identifying the needs of CSO's in the area of sustainability. The basis on which the network is to open conversations about new ways of organizing the civil sector and satisfying the needs of the users through atypical ways of financing with the goal of achieving social influence and change, freeing the spirit of creativity, entrepreneurship and good economy in 5 countries.

Social entrepreneurs are passionate about work on solving social problems in BiH, leading and nurturing entrepreneurial solutions. Network members are organizations that focus on mutual support for social enterprises and economic activities of CSO's in the earliest stages of SE model development.

Values of the network

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Solidarity
  • Social influence
  • Sustainability
  • Transparency

 Field  of work

  • Association - the joint work of CSO's in BiH that share the practice of social entrepreneurship and economic activities by supporting social entrepreneurship as a tool for sustaining CSO's.
  • Education - providing technical support to CSO's in BiH in order to improve the capacities, impact, quality and sustainability of their work.
  • Advocacy - for the promotion and development of (new) policies, reform of the political / legal system
  • Promotion - CSO Register in the field of entrepreneurship and economic activities with the aim of promoting the model of work and organization, and promoting the work of the network, it's members through web portals, social networks and the media.

Key groups

  • Representatives of civil society  active in promoting social entrepreneurship.
  • Representatives of public (competent) institutions of the following government levels: state, entity, cantonal and municipal.
  • Representatives of international institutions, international governmental and non-governmental organizations;
  • Representatives of the business sector in 5 countries.
  • Broader public ( information campaigns ).

Membership

Membership in the Smart Start network is called SMART Pact and can be full membership or associated membership.

  • SMART Pact Full membership members of the Network are civil society organizations or individuals who have an active role in the work of the Network (they actively participate in the process of addressing proposals and requests, attend meetings and activities in which they actively participate, vote on the proposal, decisions and requirements concerning the operation of the network and such ).
  • SMART Pact Associated members of the Networks are civil society organizations, interested individuals and informal groups who have a passive role in the work of the Network in terms of supporting and spreading information.

 

 

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EXTRA(s)

Definitions

(1) Social entrepreneurship is like any other entrepreneurship where a particular product / service is placed on the market and creates profit. However, this profit does not serve solely to increase the property of the owner, but is invested in improving the quality of life and the welfare of people in the community. Social entrepreneurship does not serve as a solution for increasing profit.

(2) Social entrepreneurship is a way of doing business in which the primary goal is not to maximize profit, but to fulfill a clear goal that contributes to the community. Social entrepreneurship combines business activities, social engagement and social services. Social enterprises operate according to market principles like all other companies and are trying  to make a profit, and what distinguishes them from commercial enterprises is a way of distributing profits. The profit of social enterprises serves to fulfill a clearly defined social mission rather than increasing the individual's assets.

Social enterprises achieve their balance of economic, social and / or ecological goals by the way they conduct their business. Social enterprises recognize social problems and use entrepreneurial principles in order to achieve positive changes such as environmental protection, creating new jobs, meeting cultural, public and health care needs, involving the most vulnerable members of society, and such. The success of business is measured by a successful level of social and environmental change.

CSO economic activities are those economic activities that are realiesed to reduce uncertainty in business and enable long-term sustainability of programs and activities. Organisations put realization of their activities in the comunity as their primary goal and use business approach to solve certain social and social problems through market-oriented business.

Good economy is an economy that supports the quality of life in the whole community, the one that creates a multitude of opportunities and possibilities to meet  the needs without endangering others, one that fairly uses and shares resources, accepting responsibility and nurturing solidarity as well as respecting sustainability of the ecosystem. Good economy doesn't insist on a single correct model that must be followed blindly but respecting local uniqunes and social context gives the choice of plenty of models and possibilities.

Difference between commercial and social entrepeneuership

Reasons for starting a social enterprise / activities and basic characteristics

Social enterprises most often start from the defined need of CSO's for:

  1. Sustainability - reinvesting (part) profit with the aim of securing funds for the work of civil society organizations.
  2. Solving social problems (creating jobs or sources of income for socially vulnerable categories, investing in community development, improving the quality of life of citizens, etc.)

The way social enterprises operate is to direct the surplus of income over expenditures to cover the costs of CSO's that fail to be covered by donor funds (administrative costs), developing new development projects, educating employees and members of CSO's.

Characteristics of social enterprises can be defined through the following:

  • Organized according to entrepreneurial principles and legislations;
  • A clearly defined social mission;
  • Distribution of profit is made for the purpose of reinvestment into the society (resolving social problems, sustainability of CSO's and / or distribution of members );
  • Socially and environmentally responsible;
  • Opening jobs (and retaining existing ones) for people from socially vulnerable categories;
  • Employees are often co-owners of the enterprise / cooperative and the distribution of profits is done according to this principle;
  • The part of the profit is directed for the improvement and sustainability of the enterprise itself;
  • Investing  in the development of employees capacities and their systematic education;