The Havířov Social Enterprise

Some people have larger difficulties than others when seeking a job. It is sometimes due to old age, low qualification or employer prejudice. Or everything together. Zdeněk Krosčen (47) lives in Havířov and for the last four years, he has had no job. He and his partner take care of two children, so he was very glad when he got a job offer from the Havířov Social Enterprise (Havířovský sociální podnik).

The Havířov Social Enterprise concentrates on demolishion, masonry and cleaning works and also reconstructions and repairs of housing units. It is unique because it employs people who are handicapped on the job market.The foundation of the enterprise was partially caused by an injury of its managing director David HorákSome time ago I was in hospital thinking if I will be able to work again. At that time, I remembered my relative who told me about social companies from abroad. So it crossed my mind to introduce this concept in Havířov,” describes David.

The social company is no charity - it must be as successful as any other company. This company in Havířov has been working for almost three years and applies mainly for jobs with the municipality. “At the beginning, we obtained a subsidy from the Operational Programme Employment, which was very helpful. We could buy e.g. quality tooling but mainly to employ the people who were without a job for a long time,” adds David. They were seeking a job in cooperation with the Employment Office.

Due to the subsidy, the company could employ eight persons. Last summer, one of them was also Zdeněk. He usually works in the flats which are under reconstruction. He mostly appreciates the fact that he is in a warm and dry environment for the entire day. “I am already 47 years old and my health is not what it used to be. It is much better than to spend the whole day outside on the façade,” he praises. When the company does not have enough contracts, the employees arrange the storage in the company headquarters, wash the cars or clean tooling. Each month, they obtain a fixed wage, which is partially paid from the subsidy and partially by the company. “I know that I will surely get paid for my work here,Zdeněk says of another advantage.

Zdeněk and his colleagues could also complete several courses like e.g. a financial literacy course. Because he did not have a job, he fell into debt. Some of the loans had high interest, so the debts were growing. "The course was just an impulse to start thinking. I realized that I still pay off interest and not the loan itself," thinks Zdeněk.

The Operational Programme Employment support finishes this year but Zdeněk is skilled so they will keep him in the company. Moreover, he will obtain a permanent contract. "I am glad that I have a job and do not sit at home thinking about myself," he says with satisfaction. He also gained experience which can be useful in the future.

The Havířov Social Enterprise is currently extending its area of activity to Ostrava or Karviná. Apart from municipal orders, it also cooperates with the company Residomo, which owns thousands of flats in the region. It wants to offer its services even to private persons - everyone needs to clean the flat after grandmother or take away old furniture. “We have to behave economically as standard companies, so we seek different places,David speaks about plans for the future.

Social business is of a different nature. The common effort is to integrate socially handicapped or disabled persons back into ordinary business activities. The aim is to provide equal opportunities, improve their social position in the society and increase their living standard and self-confidence. Social companies often act in the area of hospitality and catering services, a favourite field is also cleaning services or property maintenance.

Operational Programme       Operational Programme Employment
Project name The Havířov Social Enterprise
Project number CZ.03.2.60/0.0/0.0/15_015/0001278
Beneficiary Havířovský sociální podnik, s. r. o. 
Realization 1. 6. 2016 – 30. 11. 2017
Subsidy 3 131 987,50 Kč
Website www.hasop.cz

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