Social entrepreneurship in Montenegro is increasingly seen as an alternative and innovative way to promote social inclusion, integration and employment of marginalized groups of population. There is no national definition of what constitutes a social enterprise in Montenegro.
Although there is neither specific law regulating this area nor appropriate strategic document it is noticeable that there are growing numbers of Montenegrin non -governmental organizations included in the production of certain goods and provision of services. Some strategic documents (National Strategy for Employment and Human Resources Development 2016-2022, the Strategy for Micro and SMEs in Montenegro 2018-2022, National Strategy for Sustainable Development until 2030) and other relevant documents are in accordance with the goals that enable development of the social economy.
Montenegro doesn’t have legal framework which clearly define social entrepreneurship. Montenegrin law does not provide any official definition of social enterprise, however, there are various regulations, legal forms enabling social enterprises to carry out activities. These include associations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) cooperatives, limited liability companies and “protective workshops”.
In Montenegro there are no official data on the size and structure of social enterprises in Montenegro. The only attempt to map social enterprise in Montenegro has been made by the Center for the Development of NGOs (CRNVO). They identified 14 social enterprises that operate in the form of non-governmental organizations. Only one organization has established a limited liability company. Also only one organization established a “protective workshop” in accordance with the Law on professional rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities.
Other research study conducted by NeSsT (2017) estimated that there are 20 to 30 social enterprises in Montenegro. The latest research, part of the European social enterprise mapping process estimated there could be around 150 social enterprises in Montenegro in the form of associations and foundations, protective workshops, cooperatives and non-governmental organizations.
The main activity of these organizations is production of souvenirs and other decorative items, garments, items for home and office promotional materials. Women who are victims of domestic violence, elderly women, members of the Roma and Egyptian population are engaged in these organizations.
According to the CRNVO research, numerous failures in business and operations were observed in existing companies such as lack of planning documents, human resources and financial resources for further sustainability. There is also lack of business skills necessary to run and manage the organization as well as the lack of networking among social enterprises, both at the national and regional levels, quality work equipment and sales space.
Social entrepreneurship plays an important role in solving social, economic and environmental challenges while fostering inclusive growth, shared prosperity and social inclusion.
Moreover social entrepreneurship contributes to job creation especially at the local level as well as to democratic participation and the improvement of welfare services delivery. Even though the efforts have been made through some strategic documents with an aim to develop and strengthen eco-social entrepreneurship in Montenegro the information on exact results and outcomes is unavailable.
According to young people in Montenegro the opportunity to tackle certain environmental issues, social problems and needs are the most obvious motivational factors that can have an impact on starting a business in the field of eco-social entrepreneurship. By adopting strategic documents from the field of sustainable development the certain strategic goals related to the development of social entrepreneurship in the energy sector, waste management, eco-agriculture, eco-tourism, eco-production and other sectors were outlined.
Through numerous activities the Government of Montenegro aims to promote entrepreneurship, social, eco-social entrepreneurship and to include in this process certain categories of the population who will contribute to further development of the society.