NASO with 22 stands and 2 awards at European Social Entrepreneurship Forum
Photo: Participants from the NASO Network
The European Social Entrepreneurship Forum was held at EFE Exhibition Hall of Marinela Hotel in Sofia from 16 to 18 April 2018. 22 organisations from the NASO Network took part in the event. More than 100 exhibition stands belonging to social enterprises, specialized cooperatives and social services providers from Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, France, England, Greece and Turkey offered goods and services. The event was part of the programme of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The award for attractive products was bestowed upon the municipal enterprise “Morski znatsi”, which participated in the forum at the invitation of NASO and had already received a NASO Award for its work. Agency for Social Development Vision from the NASO Network was awarded for its Supported Employment service and an innovative service offered in the form of Art House. The awards were conferred by Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy Sultanka Petrova. The exhibition was opened by Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov, the Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Labour and Social Policy Hasan Ademov, the Mayor of Sofia Municipality Yordanka Fandakova and guests from the European institutions together with the Minister of Labour and Social Policy Biser Petkov and the Deputy Ministers Sultanka Petrova, Zornitsa Rusinova and Rositsa Dimitrova.
Photo: EU Commissioner M. Thyssen is looking at the NASO Network’s stands
The forum was attended by the ministerial delegations that had been participating in the informal meeting of the EU Council on Employment and Social Policy in Sofia. A special visit was made by the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen. NASO President Georgi Georgiev acquainted EU Commissioner Thyssen with the activity of the NASO members and explained the role of social services in the social inclusion of people in need of support and the place of social services in social economy. The activities of the participating social services providers and the work of NASO were presented to the European delegates.
During the three-day forum the NASO President also succeeded in outlining the work of social services providers and social enterprises to the executive power in our country. Mr Georgiev accentuated social services’ great contribution to the social inclusion and employment skills development of people with disabilities and other citizens in need of support.
Photo: NASO President Georgi Georgiev and EU Commissioner Marianne Thyssen while discussing the potential and capabilities of social services as social economy entities, as well as the work of NASO and EASPD on the subject.
He stressed the need to regulate the status of social services so that they could operate as social enterprises and sell the products and items they produce. Bringing together different types of participants, the exhibition demonstrated that social services have the capacity to compete and outperform other participants, which could serve as evidence of their potential for operating as social economy entities. This was the focus of the talks between the NASO President and the official guests from the institutions of Bulgaria and Europe who attended the exhibition.
The National Alliance had the most diverse and attractive stands with a great variety of products. Various social services providers and different types of social enterprises and NGOs took part in the event showing their innovative products made by employing different creative and working techniques. The products were presented to clients by specialists and the people who made them as part of their therapy or employment training and acquisition of employability skills.
On the NASO’s stands there were folk costumes, decoupage items, stained glass, ceramics, candle making, handmade jewellery and home decorations, knitting, wooden, glass and textile souvenirs, paintings, icons and many other beautiful items.
Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov is at a stand of the NASO Network. While the Deputy Prime Minister is shopping, the NASO President is acquainting him with the challenges faced by social services in selling their products.
The representatives from Lukovit and the coordinator of NASO participants Zlatka Ivanova.