Successful business development in the Republic of Moldova is not possible without an adequate legal framework that would regulate entrepreneurship activity. The basic law governing entrepreneurship activity, including social entrepreneurship, is the Law of the Republic of Moldova on Entrepreneurship and Enterprises. According to this, “entrepreneurial activity” represents the activity of production manufacturing, execution of works and provision of services, carried out by citizens and their associations independently, on their own initiative, on their behalf, at their own risk and under their patrimonial responsibility in order to ensure a permanent source of income.”
According to the legislation, the entrepreneurial activity can be carried out as a natural person – individual entrepreneur or as a legal person. The most common organizational-legal forms are: limited liability company; individual enterprise; joint -stock company; production cooperative; entrepreneur cooperative; general partnership; limited partnership. The institution empowered with the state registration of individual entrepreneurs and legal entities is the Public Services Agency (Department of Registration and Licensing of Law Units).
As regards social entrepreneurship, in the Law on Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, in November 2017, a separate chapter on Social Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise was introduced, which will enter into force on June 24, 2018. Thus, social entrepreneurship is an entrepreneurial activity whose main purpose is to solve social problems in the interest of the community. Social entrepreneurship activity can be conducted by social enterprises and social insertion enterprises, focusing on improving living conditions and providing opportunities for people in disadvantaged categories of the population by strengthening economic and social cohesion, including at the level of local communities, by employment, by developing social services in the community’s interest, by enhancing social inclusion.
The list of types of social entrepreneurship activity is established by the Government, the enterprises focusing on at least one of the following areas:
• creating jobs and employment, as a priority, of people from disadvantaged categories of the population;
• protecting and promoting the rights of people with disabilities and their families for the purpose of their social inclusion;
• promoting the possibilities of employing people from the disadvantaged categories of the population through the provision of labor mediation services, information and professional counseling, guidance and training, counseling and assistance in starting an entrepreneurial activity;
• carrying out activities that contribute to the implementation of public regional development policies, including reducing imbalances between the levels of socio- economic development in and within regions, strengthening financial, institutional and human opportunities for the socio-economic development of the regions, supporting the work of local public administration authorities and local authorities, oriented towards the socio-economic development of localities and coordination of their interaction with national, sectoral and regional development strategies and programs;
• the provision and development of social services as well as financial sustainability for the development and expansion of social services;
• promoting environmental protection activities;
• waste management in order to reduce them and maximally re-introduce them into the economic circuit, as well as to prevent environmental pollution;
• promotion of national heritage protection activities;
• realization of tourism and sports activities for recreation and socialization;
• carrying out extracurricular activities;
• carrying out activities in the fields of education, culture, health care, protection and social assistance, welfare and community development, if these activities are directed solely towards the strengthening of economic and social cohesion and increasing social inclusion.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have an important role in the development of a country’s economy, their share in the GDP formation ranges from 10% to 70%. SMEs directly contribute to job creation, stimulate competition, contribute to the growth of exports, foster the creation and implementation of innovations and new technologies. Compared to large enterprises, SMEs are more flexible, more responsive to the changes in business environment and growing market demands. SMEs are the most widespread form of business around the world.