social entrepreneurship

The association was founded in the year 1995 and it has, since then, mostly been focused on preservation of natural and cultural resources as well as to a sustainable development of middle Podunavlje. The vision of Zeleni Osijek is to create a fair and ecologically sustainable society in which one can have a high quality of living in coexistence with society and nature.

The social enterprise Hedona has ensured a comfortable business surrounding for a total of nine people, from which six people are with disability.  The employment model has been developed through the project – work places need to be created for people with disabilities who are finishing high school to become confectioners (pastry chefs) and which become long-term unemployed upon graduation.  

Especially, the organization was to take over the management of the co-working space AmoSfera, i.e. 350 sq.m. of privately rented and sub-rented office area in Ruđera Boškovića street in Split. Besides rental of dedicated and open space shared desk office space for freelancers, small businesses, civil society organizations, nomad entrepreneurs and local social entrepreneurs, the organization took over large part of business and institutional development consulting activities, including strategic planning and fund-raising activities. Hence, the CEDRA Split j.d.o.o.

When the production of the Association started to grow and become substantial part of the Association’s income, 11 members of the Association who are persons with disabilities, decided to establish a social cooperative, titled Social Cooperative “Prijateljica” (Girlfriend).  The cooperative, founded in 2011, is today producing and selling small series of pre-ordered carefully targeted souvenirs, decorations and gifts made from gypsum, paraffin, wood and plexiglass. The cooperative also uses recycled materials like candles.

210 disabled persons are members of the association, together with 46 supporting members and 30 volunteers. The purpose of the association is to contribute to development of social and economic system which would recognize and respect the dignity and needs of the persons with disability. The association provides prevention, diagnostics and therapeutic services (logopedic, Snoezelen and neurofeedback therapeutic methods), transportation services as well as education programs and working therapy programs.

Established as a model social enterprise for employment of disabled persons and other socially marginalized persons in 2011 as a spin-off of a EU funded project ESCO – Education for Social Cooperatives – New Opportunities for the Disabled Persons implemented by Autonomous Centre ACT, Humana Nova it produces and sells high quality and innovative textile products based on ecologic and recycled materials for Croatian and international markets.

The enterprise practices economic democracy and all employees are owners, managers and workers of the company, employing young, disabled and 50+ women with experience in civil sector and EU projects financial management and reporting. All profits are reinvested in development, education and employment of persons with disabilities.

Since its formation, it is one of the most stable companies in the group, creating income and profits for the enterprise and for the group, but also for the community. Namely, part of the profits of the company is given back to the community by annual call providing financial and in-kind donations to civil society organizations in Croatia, as well as co-financing community developmental projects.

Founded as a non-profit association Autonomous Centre ACT in 2003 by a group of young activists involved in civil society development, eco-social economy, free culture and socially engaged art, the association soon started to spin off social enterprises.

Association main activities are divided into two main programs: (1) Nature Protection Program and (2) Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development Program.