Program Overview

Coordinated by the NESsT Romania Foundation and implemented in partnership with the Social Entrepreneurship Impact & Finance (SEIF, Switzerland) and Alături de Voi Foundation (ADV, Romania), the “Enhancing Social Entrepreneurship, Building Bridges” project aims to strengthen the role of social enterprises as agents of positive change and inclusive growth by establishing knowledge and best-practice sharing between Romania and Switzerland.


Through this project, NESsT Romania and its partners aim to address both the needs of the community and the needs of social entrepreneurs. The project is designed to help reduce economic disparities by developing and strengthening social enterprises while simultaneously responding to the needs of social entrepreneurs by providing access to financing, capacity strengthening, business mentoring, and expertise from SEIF. Alături de Voi Foundation promotes the project throughout Romania and provides support on human resources development, sharing a valuable perspective on working with vulnerable groups. Together, the partners identified regions in Romania where social enterprises were highly developed, hosted round-table meetings in those communities to encourage knowledge sharing, and provided support to local entrepreneurs in sustainable social business planning.


The project’s specific objectives are:

  • To leverage each partner’s expertise to support a portfolio of 10 social enterprises in the business planning process, with a focus on those in NESsT’s core impact areas: sustainable income, labor inclusion, and access to basic services (such as clean water, electricity, or sanitation) through affordable technologies;
  • To strengthen the capacity of 10 social enterprises per year in NESsT Romania’s portfolio through new incubation tool validation and conferences on the social economy;
  • To promote the social economy and best practices that emerge from this project in a strategic communications campaign.


The project is being implemented over a three year period, and it will be completed in 2018.

It is expected that by the end of the project:

  • 10 social enterprises finished the planning stage process successfully;
  • 15 social enterprises have increased their competence in running their businesses;
  • Social entrepreneurship will be promoted through a series of dedicated events, and the cooperation between local partners, Romania and Switzerland will help build an environment of growth and knowledge sharing for the social enterprises.

Supported Social Enterprises





The project benefits from a CHF 250,000 grant from the Thematic Fund Partnership & Expert Fund, under the Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Programme.

Learn more about Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Programme here and here.



To learn more, please contact Sonia Oprean, Senior Manager, NESsT Romania, soprean[at]