Creating and promoting social economy instruments for the inclusion of marginalized groups on the labour market (2010 – 2013)

KARAT tries to identify diverse ways of improving economic situation of women from Central & Eastern European and Central Asian countries. Social economy is one of the alternative concepts/instruments which can be used to achieve it. The project “Creating and promoting social economy instruments for the inclusion of marginalized groups on the labour market” implemented by Romanian Organization AUR – The National Association of Human Resources Specialists from Romania provided an opportunity for KARAT to focus on this concept/instrument. The project had been conducted for 3 years and ended in July 2013.

 See a leaflet of the project:  Social Economy POSDRU 57308


The general objectives of the project: 

The aim of the project was to design, test and develop a set of social economy instruments in order to encourage and sustain labor market inclusion of three of the most vulnerable groups in Romania: Roma people, unemployed women over 45 and young people who at the age of 18 are leaving foster care. The project covered three geographical regions where the social cases at risk are the most numerous: the Central, North-Western, North-Eastern part of Romania. The project was implemented in partnership with: Babe Bolyai University, the Post Privatization Foundation, the National Antipoverty-Social Inclusion Network (RENASIS) and Siveco Romania and KARAT (an international partner).

The specific objectives of the project:

  • Improving the capacity of social economy entities to support the social economy in Romania.
  • Promoting the ability of handling a job of a group of 120 people at risk of social exclusion.
  • Improving the capacity of 160 actors of social economy (100 social workers and 60 specialists in social economy) to support more actively the development of this segment of the economy.

  Innovative character of the project:

  • Development of specific integration programmes for marginalized groups:training, internships, mentoring and management programmes.
  • Development of integration structures on the labor market:workshops,fairs, meetings with managers willing to get involved in social economy activities.
  •  Promotion of the social economy by creating a Social Economy Association and a Social Inclusion Brand.
  •  Creation of 6 social enterprises.


Main activities:

  • Carrying out the manufacturing workshop.
  • Preparing a compendium of good practices in social economy in Europe.
  • Creating the online educational platform on social economy.
  • Creating the Social Economy Association  that will award a Social Inclusion Brand “MATCA”  for the chosen enterprises.


KARAT contributed to the project conducting the following activities:

  •  Conducting the in-depth research on social economy enterprises in Europe.
  • Preparing the “Good Practices Guide on Social Economy in Europe”.
  • Conducting the trainings on social economy in Romania and on-line via e-learing platform.
  • Sharing Polish experiences on social economy development with Romanian partner.
  • Liaising with Polish experts which supported Romanian partner.
  • Contributing to the Social Economy Newsletter:

What does social economy have to do with gender equality and women’s rights?”

Social Economy of mothers – good practice from Poland

Social economy and business


Good Practices Guide on Social Economy in Europe

One of the main results of the project was the “Good Practices Guide on Social Economy in Europe” prepared by KARAT.

The guide presents 20 examples of social economy initiatives from different European countries. Descriptions of the examples include a factual overview for each initiative, with background information and aims, the target group for its work, its structure and activities. as Additionally, there is information about the initiative’s partnerships and about the promotion tools it uses.Each description has also been enhanced with reflections on the successes and challenges as well as lessons learned by these enterprises.In a separate chapter, “Tips for success”are gathered ase conclusions drawn from the experience of the presented social economy initiatives. These have been enriched by the comments and reflections of experts specialising in human resources issues, business development and support for social economy. This guide brings together the practical experience of the social entrepreneurs and the expertise of people experienced in developing and supporting social and commercial business. This combination makes the publication comprehensive and useful for different groups of readers interested in various aspects of social economy.

Download the “Good Practices Guide on Social Economy in Europe” in English.