Overview of SE and Legal Framework in Republic of Moldova

Social entrepreneurship in the Republic of Moldova is shaped and regulated by Law No. 845/1992.

This legal framework defines social entrepreneurship, outlines its operational activities, and lays

down the conditions for obtaining the status of social enterprises and integration enterprises.

A social enterprise in Moldova is defined as an enterprise established by associations,

foundations, religious sects, private institutions and/or individuals engaging in social

entrepreneurship activities aimed at resolving community-based social problems and meeting

the conditions laid out by law. This law enables limited liability companies and production

cooperatives, set up by the entities, to obtain social enterprise status if they fulfill the following

conditions:

• They engage in activities in at least one of the domains stated in Article 361 point 4 of Law

No. 845/1992.

• They provide equal voting rights to all associates, regardless of their contribution to the

share capital.

• They reinvest at least 90% of their profits into achieving objectives in the areas mentioned

in Article 361 point 4 of Law No. 845/1992, which must be explicitly stated in their

founding documents.

• They apply the principle ofsocial equity towards employees, ensuring fair wage levels with

no differences.

• They do not have debts to the national public budget.

The law provides for the National Commission for Social Entrepreneurship to grant social

enterprise status or integration enterprise status for a three-year term, with the possibility of

extension if the enterprises can demonstrate adherence to the conditions upon which the

respective status was granted. The status becomes effective from the moment the terms “social

enterprise” or “integration enterprise” are included in the enterprise’s founding documents and

registered in the state register where the legal entity is recorded.

However, the process has been criticized for burdening entrepreneurs with additional

administrative procedures and costs. Currently, the registry of social enterprises held by the

Ministry of Economy is not connected with the State Register of Legal Entities held by the Public

Services Agency. This disconnects results in the enterprises needing to undergo a status

modification procedure and bear the costs associated with these changes. The fee for recording

modifications is roughly 1,249 MDL (65 EUR), which is equivalent to the fee for a new registration.

Proposals to address these challenges include ensuring data exchange between the Ministry of

Economy and the Public Services Agency so that the social enterprise status granted by the

National Commission for Social Entrepreneurship can be recorded and integrated into the State

Register of Legal Entities. This approach would require the establishment of data exchange

procedures and possibly changes to the regulatory framework. Another suggestion is to offer

reduced tariffs for social enterprises and integration enterprises registering status changes with

the Public Services Agency.

In conclusion, despite the procedural and financial challenges involved in acquiring social

enterprise status in Moldova, the legal recognition of social entrepreneurship by Law No.

845/1992 is a significant step forward. It supports the development of social enterprises and

enhances their capacity to address social problems, foster inclusion, and contribute to economic

sustainability.

Overview of Education and VET System

The education system in Moldova comprises both general education and vocational education

and training (VET) sectors. The education system in Moldova is regulated by the Ministry of

Education, Culture, and Research.

➢ General Education

The general education system in Moldova consists of three levels: primary education (grades 1-

4), lower secondary education (grades 5-9), and upper secondary education (grades 10-12).

Education is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 16. The curriculum includes a

wide range of subjects, including languages (Moldovan, Russian, and English), mathematics,

sciences, social sciences, arts, physical education, and vocational education.

➢ VET Education

VET in Moldova is offered at various educational institutions, including vocational schools,

colleges, and technical universities. VET programs provide practical skills and knowledge to

students, preparing them for specific occupations and trades. The programs cover a broad range

of fields such as agriculture, construction, engineering, information technology, economics, and

healthcare. VET programs can vary in duration, typically lasting between 1 and 3 years.

Upon completion of a VET program, students receive a vocational qualification or certificate,

which enhances their employability in their chosen field.

➢ Higher Education

Moldova has several universities and higher education institutions that offer undergraduate and

postgraduate programs in various disciplines. Higher education programs in Moldova lead to

Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees.

VET Institutions in the Engineering Sector: Analysis and Outlook

The engineering sector plays a crucial role in the development and growth of economies,

including the Republic of Moldova. To understand the current landscape and identify areas for

improvement, a situational analysis of VET institutions in the engineering sector was. This analysis

aims to assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges faced by these

institutions in preparing skilled engineering professionals.

The Center of Excellence in Energy and Electronics offers young, inquisitive minds over 15 study

programs in the engineering sector that opens the path to personal fulfillment and social

recognition. The mission undertaken at the Public Institution Center of Excellence in Energy and

Electronics is to “develop value in people, processes, and products.” In this regard, they aim to

develop advanced education and professional training at a high level of quality in specific fields,

both nationally and internationally, in line with the intellectual, professional, and social

development needs of each individual and Moldovan society.

Center of Excellence in Informatics and Information Technologies with 6 programs in the

engineering sector, is engaged in educating and training of responsible, capable students to

respond quickly and competently to the new requirements of the labour market. Also, formation

of future qualified specialists, requested by economical entities.

The mission of the College of Engineering is to modernize vocational and technical education

through the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary integration of fundamental and applied fields

of study. This contributes to the acquisition of both theoretical and practical knowledge, as well

as the development of the necessary professional skills. The educational trajectory provided will

enable graduates to successfully integrate into both the national and international job market.

In the Technical College of Railways in Bălți , the focus is the development of competencies within

6 engineering and transport specializations.

The Polytechnic College in the city of Balti is a post-secondary and non-tertiary technical

vocational education and training institution that provides specialized training for the national

economy in the fields of Mechanical Engineering and Metal Processing, Information and

Communication Technology, Electrical Engineering and Power Engineering, and Electronics and

Automation.

In addition to the specialized Centers of Excellence and Colleges, there are also 42 vocational

schools in the country that offer technical programs related to the engineering sector. While these

schools offer another level of specialization according to ISCED, then the Centers of Excellence or

Colleges, they still provide valuable training and education in various engineering fields: hands-

on training, practical workshops, and internships to help students develop practical skills and gain

industry-relevant experience.

These vocational schools aim to equip students with fundamental technical skills and knowledge

that can prepare them for entry-level positions in the engineering industry. They offer a range of

programs in areas such as mechanics and metal processing, information technology and

communications, electrical engineering and power systems, and electronics and automation.

Integrating Social Entrepreneurship in VET Education: Curriculum Analysis

in Moldova

The Moldova Employment and Entrepreneurship Education and Training Activity project,

implemented by Center for Entrepreneurial Education and Business Support (CEDA), has made a

significant impact on the vocational education and training (VET) system in Moldova. The project

successfully introduced the mandatory Basics of Entrepreneurship (BoE) curriculum in VET

schools across the country, enhancing the quality of entrepreneurship education.

The collaborative efforts between CEDA and the Ministry of Education have been instrumental in

the successful implementation of the project. Through the project, the BoE curriculum was

developed, aligning it with the needs of the Moldovan economy and ensuring its relevance to

students’ future entrepreneurial endeavors.

The participatory approach used during the curriculum development phase fostered engagement

and involvement of VET school teachers. Through training programs, teachers were equipped

with new curriculum content and innovative teaching methods, enriching the learning experience

for students and nurturing their entrepreneurial skills.

The “Basics of Entrepreneurship” curriculum holds a significant position in the educational

landscape of the Republic of Moldova, as it is not only delivered in all VET institutions but also

serves as a compulsory examination for the Professional Baccalaureate qualification.

As part of the national educational framework, the inclusion of “Basics of Entrepreneurship” as a

mandatory discipline for VET institutions highlights the importance placed on fostering

entrepreneurial skills and knowledge among students. This curriculum aims to provide a

comprehensive understanding of entrepreneurship, preparing students for the challenges and

opportunities they may encounter in the business world. As part of their final examination, the

students prepare and present a business plan for their idea.

By including “Basics of Entrepreneurship” as a compulsory examination, the Republic of Moldova

aims to achieve the following objectives:

Recognition of entrepreneurial competencies: The curriculum recognizes the significance of

entrepreneurial competencies as essential skills for students pursuing vocational education and

training. By incorporating entrepreneurship into the Baccalaureate examination, the educational

• System acknowledges the importance of entrepreneurship in the overall development of

students.

• Practical application of entrepreneurial concepts: The curriculum focuses on practical

aspects of entrepreneurship, enabling students to apply their knowledge and skills in real-

life business scenarios. Through case studies, project work, and hands-on activities,

students gain insights into the actual challenges and decision-making processes involved

in running a business.

• Promotion of entrepreneurial mindset: The curriculum aims to cultivate an

entrepreneurial mindset among students, encouraging them to think innovatively, identify

opportunities, and take calculated risks. It emphasizes creativity, critical thinking,

problem-solving, and adaptability as key entrepreneurial traits.

• Integration of theory and practice: “Basics of Entrepreneurship” integrates theoretical

concepts with practical applications, ensuring that students develop a holistic

understanding of entrepreneurship. It equips them with the necessary knowledge in areas

such as business planning, marketing, financial management, and risk assessment.

• By integrating social entrepreneurship into the “Basics of Entrepreneurship” curriculum,

Moldova can further promote sustainable and socially responsible business practices

among future entrepreneurs. This expansion will empower students with the knowledge

and skills needed to address societal challenges while pursuing entrepreneurial

opportunities.

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