EUROPEAN UNION POLICIES FOR ENCOURAGING THE SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Ivan Todorov (),
Irina Atanasova and
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Petar Parvanov: Faculty of Economics, South-West University "Neofit Rilski", Blagoevgrad
Irina Atanasova: Faculty of Economics, South-West University "Neofit Rilski", Blagoevgrad
Sofiya Mirchova: Faculty of Economics, South-West University "Neofit Rilski", Blagoevgrad
Economics & Law, 2019, vol. 1, issue 1, 43-51
Since the establishment of the European Economic Community in 1957, the organization's primary goal has been to provide a socially acceptable standard of living for people. Social policy was defined in the Single European Act and the Social Charter adopted by the European Commission in 1989. The legal framework of the European Social Policy has been developed in two treaties - the Amsterdam Treaty and the Maastricht Treaty. These treaties emphasize the fight against unemployment, social exclusion and vocational training, with each country being obliged to conduct its social policy in line with that of the EU. EU social policy has been further expanded with the 2009 Lisbon Treaty. Thanks to the common social policy of the countries of the European Union, social entrepreneurship has gained increased importance for the economic and social integration of people with disabilities. Social entrepreneurship can help many people with disabilities to participate in the labor market and society. The approach used to support the participation of people with disabilities in the EU labor market encourages increased participation primarily through employment and less through self-employment or business creation. A common EU approach is to use employment quotas that require public and private organizations to employ a certain number or percentage of people with disabilities. Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom do not use this approach. There are examples of policies that support self-employment and business creation for people with disabilities. These include the incorporation of self-employment into the general active labor market programs as well as schemes that support people with disabilities when setting up businesses. Areas where such policies can be developed are: Enhancing awareness of people with disabilities about entrepreneurship as a real and feasible option; Developing entrepreneurial skills; Support for the development, acquisition and use of aids and technologies; Ensuring access to appropriate financial support; Improving access to the Internet, information and telecommunication technologies, etc. The main conclusions of the study are that business creation and self-employment are not suitable for all people with disabilities, there are several ways that policymakers can improve support for entrepreneurship for people with disabilities. The first approach is to examine proposals to support start-ups to ensure that they are available in accessible formats and to educate business advisors on the potential risks that create start-ups and self-employment for people with disabilities. A second area of action for governments is to support the development and adoption of assistive technologies. Third, there is evidence that support the development of targeted training and support tailored to the needs and problems of entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs with various disabilities.
Keywords: European Union Policies; Social Entrepreneurship; People with Disabilities (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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