Regional Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility in Kardzhali
On November 25, 2015, at the Business Incubator – Kardzhali, a regional forum on the topic “Corporate Social Responsibility” with the participation of representatives of business sector, social services and members of National Alliance for Social Responsibility (NASO) in the region of Kardzhali took place. The meeting was organized by Agency for Regional Economic Development and Investments Association, Kardzhali, which is the representation of NASO in the region of Kardzhali and NASO in partnership with the Municipality of Kardzhali. The participants were welcomed by Rumen Genov, Chairman of the Board of Agency for Regional Economic Development and Investments Association, and Georgi Georgiev, President of NASO. The event was also attended by Vasilka Grigorova, Senior Expert at the Humanitarian Activities Directorate of the Municipality of Kardzhali, and other representatives of the municipalities in the region. The participants welcomed the approach of involving various stakeholders in the meeting, i.e. business sector representatives, attracted by the opportunity for discussing the topic of corporate social responsibility, and regional social service representatives, providing services for people in need and looking for opportunities for social entrepreneurship development.
Mr. Genov presented the modern understanding of corporate social responsibility while Mr. Georgiev made a review of NASO activities in terms of corporate social responsibility development, its current state in Bulgaria, NASO’s commitments in that field as well as gave some interesting examples of good practices for the development of corporate social responsibility in Bulgaria. During the meeting the two stakeholder groups approved the approach of common work despite the different fields of work of business sector and social service providers. The corporate sector representatives agreed on the understanding that business was no longer simply a means of profit making. It was pointed out that one of the main task of business should be also the care for the people, the staff and the community. The idea of achieving a partnership relationship between the business and social sectors was strongly supported by the participants in the meeting. Good practices of local companies, working also in the field of corporate social responsibility, were presented. A great impact was made by the presentation of Ms. Svetla Petkova, Manager of Arteks Bulgaria, whose company activity was certified under the standards of corporate social responsibility. The business representatives expressed their desire for involvement with NASO as members and partnership development in the field of corporate social responsibility. At the end of the meeting, the social service representatives got invited by the participants from the business sector to visit them and look for common partnership opportunities. Thus, NASO’s intent to establish cooperation between the social service providers and the business sector turned out very successful and the meeting ended up with agreements for future mutual work between the two sides. Finally, although it was not on the agenda, the social service representatives brought up a discussion on the draft of the new Law on Social Services. In this respect, clarifications on the stage of work on the law as well as on the opportunities for NASO, as a regular member of the interinstitutional working group, to influence the development of the normative act and establish a relationship between the social service providers and experts were given.