Science Journal of Business Management

April 2013, Volume 2013, ISSN:2276-6316

Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research Article


Credit Unions: Social Enterprise at Work

Dr. Tatjana Volkova and Brigita Baltaca

BA School of Business and Finance

Accepted 6 April, 2013; Available Online 28 April, 2013

doi: 10.7237/sjbm/284


Although the notion of social enterprise first appeared in Italy in the late 1980s, it really began to be used at the European level in the mid-1990s, especially through the works of the European Research Network (EMES). EMES defined social enterprises as "organisations with an explicit aim to benefit the community, initiated by a group of citizens and in which the material interest of capital investors is subject to limits. They place a high value on their independence and on economic risk-taking related to ongoing socioeconomic activity." Although a social enterprise could have one leading person, often referred to as the social entrepreneur, to initiate and drive it requires the support and engagement of many other people. Therefore, the cooperative movement is another well-known manifestation of social enterprise.
The main scope of research. The development of social enterprises is rather challenging i n Latvia. A significant restriction to the development of social enterprises in Latvia is the absence of legal recognition that social entrepreneurship is a form of doing business. The imbalance in the distribution of urban and rural credit unions is a prime reason to give more attention to the development of rural credit unions.
Major findings and conclusion is that the role of credit unions in the development of rural communities should be judged by the opportunity they provide for individuals to participate in the development of their communities by getting engaged in a social enterprise.

Keyword:social enterprise, credit unions, financial cooperatives, Latvia.