The Social Enterprise Law was adopted by the Parliament on 12 October, 2017 and came into force on 1 April, 2018. The purpose of this Law is to improve the quality of life and to promote employment for groups at risk of social exclusion, through creation of an economic environment supportive to social enterprises. The Law creates the legal framework by providing both the criteria for obtaining the status of a social enterprise and the rules for state support for this type of entrepreneurship.

A social enterprise as defined in the Law is a limited liability company which has been granted the status of a social enterprise in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Law and which conducts an economic activity creating a positive social impact (e.g., provision of social services, formation of an inclusive civil society, promotion of education, support for science, protection and preservation of the environment, animal protection, or ensuring of cultural diversity).

The Commission for Social Enterprises is established to provide a motivated opinion to the Ministry of Welfare on the compliance of the applicant with the status of a social enterprise.

A decision to grant the status of a social enterprise is taken by the Ministry of Welfare. The Register of Social Enterprises is maintained by the Ministry of Welfare and published on its website.

The ESF co-funded project “Support for Social Entrepreneurship” has been launched by the Ministry of Welfare in 2016. The purpose of the project is to identify and verify the optimal solutions for creation and development of social enterprises, including the support to work integration. The project includes such activities as awareness raising measures about the social enterprises, their importance and possible contribution to economic growth and society, as well as the development of a support system for social enterprises and the promotion of social start-ups. Financial grants for social enterprises, both start–ups and already operating companies, and wage subsidies for employing vulnerable groups are provided within the project. Total funding of the project is 15 mln. EUR, of which 12 mln. EUR are allocated for grants and wage subsidies.

The Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia is a non-governmental organization. It was founded in 2015, by organizations, enterprises and individuals to promote social entrepreneurship in Latvia. More information on the website of the Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia.

Legislation - for more information on eligibility criteria for social enterprises, the role of the Ministry of Welfare and the Commission for Social Enterprises, the Register of Social Enterprises, conditions, limitations and supervision of social enterprises, target groups, support activities – see the Social Enterprise Law and Regulations.

Social Enterprise Law

Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No.101 of 20 February, 2018 “Regulations on the Commission for Social Enterprises”

Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers No. 173 of 27 March, 2018 “Regulations on the groups of persons at the risk of social exclusion and the procedures for granting the status, registration and supervision of a social enterprise”