CTC Rijeka is one of the founders and participants of  CEDRA - Cluster for Eco-Social Innovation and Development, and as a representative of CEDRA - Rijeka is carrier of developmental program for Primorje-Gorski Kotar and Istria County.

 

CEDRA HR functions as a network of support centres for existing and potential social entrepreneurs. The essential value of CEDRA HR is sharing resources, especially human. CEDRA HR consists of six regional centres. Apart from the centre of Rijeka, there are also centres in Čakovec, Dubrovnik, Osijek, Split and Zagreb.

 

CEDRA HR base its activities on human, social and democratic values, responsibility towards society and the environment, solidarity, sustainability, trust, credibility, consistency and mutual support. About all that depends improving grid quality of work, active and mutual support, and awareness of the interdependence of individuals, organizations, institutions and communities.

 

CTC Rijeka through CEDRA continues upgrading their capacities and creating and strengthening their own group of experts in the field of social development, entrepreneurship, social marketing, eco-social economy and innovation.

 

What is social entrepreneurship?

A company which is owned by its employees and/or members of local community, driven equally by social as well as commercial goals, and managed by democratic principles can be called social enterprise. (Freer Spreckley, 1981.)

We believe people are basically good; we believe everyone has something to contribute; we believe that an honest, open environment can bring out the best in people; we recognize and respect everyone as a unique individual; we encourage you to treat others the way you want to be treated.
Verghese Kurien

Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry.” 
Bill Drayton Leading Social Entrepreneurs Changing the World

What business entrepreneurs are to the economy, social entrepreneurs are to social change. They are the driven, creative individuals who question the status quo, exploit new opportunities, refuse to give up, and remake the world for the better." -― David Bornstein
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?
Martin Luther King, Jr.

World’s leading organization which acts as a catalyst for social entrepreneurship determined to find long term solutions for systemic poverty and social injustice is Nonprofit Enterprise and Self-sustainability Team (NESsT). They consider that the goal of social entrepreneurship projects is to increase financial sustainability of organizations for civil society by creating unbound sources of revenue and simultaneously increasing the effects of organization’s mission. To put it simply, social entrepreneurship enables civil organizations to lead a successful business in accordance with its mission which is at the same time socially useful.

For example, if a mission of civil organization is to educate public to use the newest technical, technological and IT skills, and organization imposes itself as leading educational center which is recognized by local authorities and has a positive balance, we can say that this organization is an example of successful social enterprise.

Organizations decide to become social enterprises to enable self-funding and independence, to hire their own clients (users), to position themselves in local community, etc.

Examples of good practice

According to NESsT’s research about social entrepreneurship and Croatia conducted in 2005, social entrepreneurship is the ability for organizations which are marginalized in times of crisis and can’t find financial support to have positive balance. Because of this, while struggling to continue doing business, organizations are forced to turn to the market. Some of them succeed and develop into successful organizations, while others don’t succeed.

The obstacles on the way to success are numerous: non-existence or insufficient amount of financial capital, weak capacities, lack of human resources and professionalism, etc. But, social entrepreneurship has increasingly important role in strengthening sustainability of Croatian organizations and increasing effect on their mission. Check out what some of them do.

 

Social cooperative Humana Nova
Social cooperative Humana Nova has connected its social role on two levels. The cooperation encourages employment of socially excluded persons and sales of recycled textile products. 

 

RODA – Parents in action
"RODA – Parents in action" through its activity advocates dignified pregnancy, parenthood and childhood in Croatia. From the project in which they promoted cloth diapers they developed production of cloth diapers which, together with RODA’s sale of used children’s clothes and equipment, enables establishment of good foundation for financial sustainability. In 2012. they received the award for social entrepreneurship from organization “Slap” and Ministry of Labor and Pension System.

 

HerOna

Social cooperative HerOna sees its social business in working with women, especially the ones who are in an undesirable position on the labor market because of long-term unemployment, lack of work experience, lack of education or specificity of the situation in which they find themselves.

 

Social cooperative Put

Social cooperative Put has come into existence after many years of working with homeless people. Their goal is to reactivate homeless people on professional, private and social level. Socially excluded groups (unemployed people with disrupted family relations, ex-addicts, homeless people, people with special needs, disabled people, war veterans and other unemployed persons who experience some sort of discrimination) from Primorje-Gorski Kotar County are given psychological help, education in order to improve social competences and communication skills, help to gain work habits and motivation to work, retraining and employment help.

 

Hedona d.o.o.

Hedona d.o.o. from Križevci makes delicious chocolate pralines. The company was founded by Society for disabled people Križevci with a simple goal – employment of persons with disability.

 

Prospero associationProspero association is doing business with the goal of empowering women within the project of self-employment in agricultural and traditional crafts. They provide education for working with ceramics, knitting courses, and they produce felted, knitted, crochet, ceramic and woven products. They won first place in last year’s Startup Weekend in Zagreb for social innovation for handbag made from recycled nylon bags called “Torbak”.

 

ACT Printlab
ACT Printlab is non-profit social enterprise which provides graphical and web design services, visual identity creation, digital print, offset print, photography and badges. With annual tender for donations to associations, tender for services, system for awarding customer loyalty, co-financing of development projects of Autonomy Center (ACT) they manage to give back to the community.

 

These are only some of positive examples of social entrepreneurship in Croatia. If you want us to promote your good example feel free to contact us at info@ctk-rijeka.hr.