What is Social Economy
The Social Economy refers to economic activities that are independent of the governemnent without being of the private sector. Although they are financially viable, they do not aim to maximize profits but rather improve their communities’ or their members’ well-being.
The Social Economy (SE) is an economic development model that places people at the center of economic, social and political activity. The SE seeks to integrate economic efficiency, social inclusion, sustainable development and increased participation in the functioning of the economy and urban development.
Values are the pillars of a new model of growth and the roots that feed social economy initiatives. The SE is essential for all societies and questions our current development model. Indeed, it gives hope to vulnerable individuals and groups who are unable to find decent work, and lack access to housing or adequate services that conform to the minimum standards of living.
One of the challenges faced by the Social Economy is the difficulty for the society not to put increased profit as the main or sole purpose of economic activity. In order to progress, the SE must assume its full place alongside the private and public sector and showcase that competitiveness is not unconnected to the Social Economy, but rather assumes that this is the parameter with which part of its value is measured. Combining competitiveness with values is the basis for an inclusive and sustainable local development
Moreover, the SE supports a development model that protects the environment through collective ownership of natural resources and through sustainable forms of production. The SE is also the foundation for revitalizing participatory democracy through collective action at the heart of economic and social activity. Democratic processes and collective decision making inherent in the SE are essential to meet our challenges.
Cooperatives, community-based businesses, social enterprises, credit unions and mutual insurance, social finance and non-profit institutions together constitute the Social Economy. The philanthropic sector as well as social investors also contribute to its development.