In Lithuania social businesses are confused with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, eg: social enterprises and non-governmental organizations. In fact, social business is neither one of these types of activity.
Social business environment in Lithuania
What is not a social business
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Continuous or short-term business organizations which give a part of their business profits to projects which seek to challenge social and environmental problems.
– RIMI Lithuania (Employ people with disabilities)
– Thermo Fisher (Mobile biotechnology class which travels to Lithuanian schools)
– Pakmarkas (Constantly invests in technology to reduce the level of CO2 emissions caused through the manufacturing process).
These organizations, which serve the public interest, are in most cases maintained by sponsors or state grants.
– Lithuanian Caritas
However, the organization has an establishment- Caritas works, which can be seen as a social business: The organization makes and sells candels and the proceeds goes towards funding their projects.
Companies that employ socially vulnerable groups and conform to the legal definition of social enterprise as set out by the Ministry of Social Enterprise. The main goal of these companies is profit, not social impact.
– This status have UAB “Neįgaliųjų įmonė” and “Mokymų Spektras” herbal manufacturers.
– UAB Acorus Calamus, a company that produces a wide range of electronic goods produced by blind people.
Legal social business environment in Lithuania
Social business concept
Spring 2015, the Ministry of Economy approved the concept of Social Business.
At the end of 2015 the Ministry of Economy approved the Social Business Promotion 2015-2017 year action plan. The plan contains specific measures to create a social business-friendly legal, financial and fiscal environment, promoting social business culture, and increase awareness. In 2016 the Ministry of Economy distinguished Lithuanian social business criteria recommendations.
Social business forum
The Social Business Forum is a particularly important social business policy-making event, which started in 2014. The froum has gained great importance and status and is organized every spring.
Social business and Lithuanian regional development
A significant impact on the social development of business in the regions to Lithuanian Leader network, one of the four EU Community Initiatives, which promotes rural residents and organizations to participate actively in the residential area and the community development process. This policy helps to strengthen civil society in rural areas, promote local government, business and non-governmental sector employee cooperation.