When we talk about management and organizational development – we talk indubitable about United
States of America, starting with authors as Peter Drucker and finishing with the best universities in
management as Harvard or Stanford. When we start to actively develop social enterprises in Moldova,
USA is the best place to look for good practices, tools and ideas. Between April 26 and May 29, I had the
opportunity to learn from “Impact Without Borders” NGO in San Diego, California how a capacity
building program for social enterprises is organized.
Social entrepreneurship is very popular in United States, especially in California. This concept was being
implemented for a long time and many community problems were solved through social enterprises.
And community problems both in USA and Moldova refers to the same areas, such as education,
environment, opportunities for vulnerable groups, culture etc. The first main difference I have seen is
that USA’s legal framework do not give a strict definition of what a social enterprise means as Moldova’s
newly adopted law on social entrepreneurship does. So, every impact oriented business in USA can
consider itself a social enterprise.
In order to support the social enterprises to succeed, many capacity building organizations in USA have
developed specific methodologies and curricula that would assist these entities at every stage of
development. One of them was my host organization “Impact Without Borders NGO” that runs a 5-day
Accelerator for social enterprises where the social ventures can validate their idea, develop a business
plan and find a mentor that would coach them along the way. Also, I had the chance to meet “Mission
Edge” NGO that also has an accelerator for social enterprises that is run during 14 weeks. All these
programs are very useful for those who have an idea of a social enterprise because either they help to
transform the idea into a concrete action plan or they give a feedback to the social entrepreneurs at a
very early stage that the idea needs to be improved/changed.
As in Moldova exists only about 12 social enterprises and this concept is not very well understood by the
potential social entrepreneurs, I am planning to launch with the NGO that I am managing – CICO, an
accelerator for social enterprises in Moldova based on California’s experience. I hope to find interested
investors and potential social entrepreneurs that would help me implement this idea.
Beside the professional part, I had an amazing experience with my host family in San Diego that helped
me to live the real American life as a member of their family. I understood more about their daily life-
style, I tried new experiences, such as playing golf or watching a professional baseball game. Also, I
shared with them many specific things about Moldova regarding our culture, history, economy, politics
Also, I had a tremendous volunteering experience participating in an activity organized by a local
organization (Dharma Bum Temple). During several hours, we have delivered food for the homeless
people from downtown San Diego. I’e seen a kind of happiness on those people’s faces when they got a
sandwich with peanut butter and jelly that I can’t compare with any other feeling in the world. And the
most fascinating is that this activity is organized by regular people that meet every Thursday to donate
food and to deliver it to “those who are hungry”.
Last but not least, I want to say thank you for all the people that made this fellowship possible for me.
I am committed to contribute with all the knowledge I got to the development of my community and my