Academic journal article Journal of Community Positive Practices

Importance of Financing the Social Economy Projects

Academic journal article Journal of Community Positive Practices

Importance of Financing the Social Economy Projects

Article excerpt

Abstract: The re-emergence of the social economy sector as important agent for occupation, economic growth, social solidarity, associationism and social services, coincided with a higher importance of running program and project-based activities in all European countries, irrespective whether they are member states of candidate states. Within the context of the benefits specific to the social economy projects it is important to debate and analyse the subject of continuing the activities of this form of economy by consolidating the financial allocations. Thus, complementary to the identification of new consistent sources of financing of the activity performed by the social economy organisations, it is important to know the position of the initiatives within the current context of the global economy and to apply rigorously the project implementation methodology.

Key-words: social economy, project, financial allocation, evaluation, project management

1. Introduction

The social economy sector acquired a significant importance over the past 30 years, in terms of economic activity and social policies planning, both in the EU member states and worldwide, because of the increasing unemployment rates during the late 1970s and because of the lower assistance provided by the welfare state.

Within the context of the current economic crisis, negative consequences overlap and this reflects on the vulnerable groups: social tensions generated by the higher rate of poverty, the fear of unemployment, the higher number of families with serious financial problems, restrictions upon financing the credit for consumption and effects due to workforce mobility (Bostani I., Grosu V., 2010, p. 20). However, presently, social economy provides solutions to decrease social exclusion by increasing the employment rate of the vulnerable people and by establishing mechanisms in support of these people (Arpinte D., Cace S., Cojocaru S., 2010, p. 66).

At the European level, during the Lisbon Council of Europe (2000), the control of social exclusion was tackled by a coherent package of policies - social, occupational and economic - all of them highly interdependent (Lambru M., 2010, p. 165). In Romania, "within the academia, within the government and within the international organisations, a consistent level of expertise to measure poverty and social inclusion formed, accompanied by a solid history of using the indicators of poverty and social inclusion" (Briciu C., 2009, p. 165). When social economy interventions to control poverty are to be implemented, caution is recommended in choosing the working method, because "each of the poverty lines, irrespective of the method of calculation, include a large amount of subjectivism and relativity" (Pop, M.A., 2009, p. 394).

Running social economy projects gives the possibility to start lots of initiatives, because the expression itself comes from the combination of two terms which are often contradictory (Neamtan, 2002):

* "Economy" refers to the actual production of goods and services by a business or to an enterprise which contributes to a net increase of the collective wealth;

* "Social" refers to the social profitability, as expression which sometimes is opposed to the purely economic profit. Social profitability is evaluated in terms of contribution to the democratic development, encouraging an active and consolidated citizenship and of promoting the projects of individual and collective initiatives. Social profitability improves the quality of life and increases population's welfare, particularly by making available more services. Social profitability can be evaluated in terms of job creation both in the public sector, and in the traditional private sector.

Planning, implementing and evaluating social economy initiatives based on project management relies on principles with universal value for most projects, irrespective of their size or complexity. This ensures the rigorous management of the projects by applying formal mechanisms and procedures which are important for the management of resources which the financers quantify. …

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