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SOCEC.NET – Social Economy Network

The Solidarity Lab together with its partners Calarasi County Council and “Their Future Depends on you” Association have developed the Program for the Development of Social Economy Structures in the Danube Delta within the SOCEC.NET project – Social Economy Network (POSDRU / 168 / 6.1 / S /144453), cofunded by the European Social Fund.

The project contributes to capitalizing on the potential of the lower Danube meadow, an area of ​​extremely valuable natural resources, including about 135-140 islands sheltering rare plant species and where birds can find refuge for rest and reproduction, or other animals protected by law, but marked by the reduced employment rate, with large groups of the population in the guaranteed minimum income system or in the informal or subsistence economy without the qualifications currently sought on the labor market. In this context, the eco-tourism strategy of Călăraşi County envisages the capitalization of the Danube islands to create sustainable jobs. The project contributes to the sustainable development of the area through the establishment of social economy structures that take into account the three dimensions: economic, social and environment protection.

The project was carried out between October 2014 and December 31, 2015, in Dorobantu, Spanţov and Dichiseni communes in Calarasi County.


  • To inform the local authorities, organizations belonging to the social economy – associations, foundations, cooperatives, mutual help houses from the three communes in the Danube Delta in Călăraşi County about the social economy and the development opportunities it brings.
  • To create 3 Social Economy Structures in the Danube Delta on the territory of Calarasi County that will provide at least 15 jobs of which at least 12 for the vulnerable target group.

Each social economy structure created has three main areas of activity:

  1. Eco-tourism – camping services according to the Picnic Law no. 54/2012 and accommodation in cottages and the organization of fishing competitions, accompanied by actions to combat fishing poaching and ecology of shore areas;
  2. Organic processing of cellulosic and vegetal waste by using vermicultures, resulting in the best quality compost / humus and bait for fishing;
  3. Constructions, facilities and communal management works.

The social economy structures created received subsidies for all the costs necessary to make the investment according to the project budget (business plan) and for 7 months of operation. The investment was located on a public land within the respective commune’s concession / given by the municipalities of Dorobantu, Spanţov and Dichiseni communes in Călăraşi County. Training programs ensured professional training and the necessary labor force qualification for these structures.

The program for the development of the social economy structures included 2 Stages:

  • Stage 1 – Program for the development of the social entrepreneurship capacities, skills, knowledge and self-esteem for vulnerable people (December 2014)
  • Stage 2 – The establishment of the social economy structures – legal establishment and operation authorizations, financing and investment development and creation of permanent jobs for disadvantaged persons on the labor market (January – September 2015)

Eligible participants:

Stage 1: Persons belonging to vulnerable groups, without employment – Roma people, early school leavers, single parents, young people over 18 who leave the institutional child protection system. The participants will have their permanent residence in one of the 3 communes participating in the project (Dorobantu, Spanţov and Dichiseni) or in neighboring communes.

Stage 2: Initiative groups made up of people belonging to the vulnerable groups mentioned above and other persons active in the proposed fields of activity of the structures. Legal entities of the social economy – legally constituted organizations: cooperatives, foundations and associations, associations of agricultural producers, mutual help houses, other nonprofit organizations wishing to participate in the development of such social economy structures as founders of new legal persons, contributing with resources necessary for the fulfillment of the business plan.

In order to benefit from grants under this program, the selected groups will be constituted as legal entities: cooperatives, foundations or associations.

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