Social Entrepreneurship: a Step towards Independence

Project Description: In spite of the progress on their path to membership in the European Union, Montenegro faces delays in implementation of reforms, and ineffectiveness of legislature is visible in many fields. Less developed Montenegrin north (the project target area) faces also great differences in the economic status in comparison to the developed Podgorica and Adriatic south. On the other hand, the 2014 EC Progress Report recognised hindered cooperation between CSOs and public administration bodies as well as lack of financing of the Montenegrin CSO sector and inefficient current system of public funding. Their engagement in facilitation of the inclusion processes is essential for increasing citizens’ awareness and interest for civil society engagement and monitoring of the activities undertaken by the authorities. Also important is their role to represent the citizens, including the most vulnerable categories, in particular vulnerable women, often ‘invisible’ in the society, unrecognised by legislature and insufficiently included in the mainstream inclusion action plans. Therefore, the overall objective of the proposed action is to contribute to the strengthening of independence of women’s CSOs in Montenegro to act as strong representatives of vulnerable women. This objective corresponds directly with the needs of Montenegrin civil society actors to act on ensuring their continuous functioning in the times of advanced transformation of the society.

Montenegrin institutional capacity for elimination of discrimination against women is still insufficient, Local Action Plans (LAPs) on gender equality are adopted in only 5 out of 23 municipalities in the country and authorities’ cooperation with CSOs remains weak. The situation in the field indicates that women remain underrepresented in the labour market, usually without property or proper education, which all leads to their dependency on men. This inferior social position of women leads to increased vulnerability, especially to violence, which is particularly visible among RAE (Roma, Ashkali, Egyptian) women, women from rural areas and more so in the underdeveloped north of the country. As such, they need proper support and favourable environment to improve their position and get included in the society, which cannot be expected from the State institutions and local authorities, who lack capacity and sensitivity to provide such support. The action proposed seeks sustainable solutions to this situation, by recognizing and strengthening the role of civil society actors in proper representation of vulnerable groups and prioritizing women economic empowerment as the first step towards the achievement of their rights. Thus, the project’s specific objective: to foster CSOs’ intense involvement in socio-economic inclusion of vulnerable women in less developed areas of Montenegro, through exercising and promoting social entrepreneurship and provision of business advisory – responds to the mentioned acute needs of vulnerable women in Montenegro.

Location: Montenegro; Regions of Niksic and Pljevlja

Partner Organisations: Bonafide – Pljevlja, CRI Nikšić

Donor:The European Union, represented by the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro - IPA 2014 Civil Society Facility Montenegro Programme

Duration: 24 Months


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