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NOTE: Since 2009 the title of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (IJEE) has been changed to the title above.  ISSN numbers: IJEE 1649-2269 and IRE 2009-2822

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#1558 - Work Integration Social Enterprises in Transition Countries: The Case of Serbia

IRE Vol 15: Issue 2, 2017 , Pages 245-268

Author(s): Marija Džunić, Jelena Stanković and Vesna Janković-Milić (Faculty of Economics, University of Nis, Serbia)

Abstract:
The concept of social enterprise has emerged in the last couple of decades, as a form of social innovation, aimed at increasing welfare of individuals and communities through employment, integration and participation. A special interest for the economic and social role of these enterprises is present in transition countries, as a potential tool for social policy and welfare system reform. Today, a number of transition countries are facing the problem of high levels of long-term unemployment, with a large share of youth, women and individuals with low qualifications in the structure of the unemployed. The unemployment problem within the countries is deepened by the pertaining regional differences in economic development. The aim of the paper is to assess the contribution of social enterprises to the employment of citizens belonging to marginalized groups in Serbia, and the regional differences in this contribution. Using a unique database on social enterprises in Serbia, the average number of employees in social enterprises is calculated as 8.6, indicating that the typical social enterprise in Serbia is rather small. The share of the working age population employed in social enterprises in Serbia is calculated as 0.2%, while 0.5% of working age population in the category of vulnerable groups are integrated this way. The findings of our study therefore indicate that social enterprises in Serbia form a rather weak generator of employment. Finally, we find considerable regional differences in the employment contributions of social enterprises which are unrelated to regional prosperity.

Keywords: social enterprises, employment, transition economies, multi-criteria analysis

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