Social entrepreneurship support scheme launched

State-backed finance institution Altum has launched a new program to support social entrepreneurship which will make 12 million euros available until 2022, Altum board chairman Reinis Berzins told the press November 8.

Berzins said that Altum had developed a special social entrepreneurship program whereby entities registered in the Social Enterprise Register of the Welfare Ministry and individuals with plans for foundation of social enterprises, who have won a contest of ideas held by the ministry, can apply for support, LETA reported.

12 million euros will be supplied by the European Social Fund to be used to support 220 new and existing companies that will be employing the jobless, young mothers, people with special needs and others.

The aim of the project is to promote the environment and development of social entrepreneurship and increase the opportunities for employment for those unemployed who are in less favourable conditions, persons with a disability and persons with mental disabilities, says the official description of the initiative.

The support is planned in the form of grants and would not have to be repaid. But only viable and sustainable companies that demonstrate they will be able to stay in business after the expiry of the grant may apply.

The amount of support available under the program will depend on how long the company has been in business and on its financial indicators.

Welfare Minister Janis Reirs said that so far Altum had received 65 applications and 37 businesses have been approved for participation in the program.

Full details of the criteria to apply for support as part of the scheme are available HERE.

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