Category:Social and Solidarity Economy

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Economy (from Greek οίκος – "household" and νέμoμαι – "manage") is the management of the resources of a community, country, etc. A given economy is the result of a set of processes that involves its culture, values, education, technological evolution, history, social organization, political structure and legal systems, as well as its geography, natural resource endowment, and ecology, as main factors. These factors give context, content, and set the conditions and parameters in which an economy functions. In other words, the economic domain is a social domain of human practices and transactions. It does not stand alone.

What is Social Solidarity Economy? See here how we understand the SSE in the MedTOWN project File:What is Social Solidarity Economy.pdf

There are various definitions of Social Solidarity Economy (SSE).

According to the International Labor Organisation (ILO), the SSE encompasses enterprises, organizations and other entities that are engaged in economic, social, and environmental activities to serve the collective and/or general interest, which are based on the principles of voluntary cooperation and mutual aid, democratic and/or participatory governance, autonomy and independence, and the primacy of people and social purpose over capital in the distribution and use of surpluses and/or profits as well as assets. SSE entities aspire to long-term viability and sustainability, and to the transition from the informal to the formal economy and operate in all sectors of the economy. They put into practice a set of values which are intrinsic to their functioning and consistent with care for people and planet, equality and fairness, interdependence, self-governance, transparency and accountability, and the attainment of decent work and livelihoods. According to national circumstances, the SSE includes cooperatives, associations, mutual societies, foundations, social enterprises, self-help groups and other entities operating in accordance with the values and principles of the SSE. The SSE contributes to the creation of decent work. More information can be found in the File:ILO Report Decent work and the social 2022.pdf

According to the United Nations Task Force Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE), Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) encompasses organizations and enterprises that:

  1. have explicit economic and social (and often environmental) objectives;
  2. involve varying degrees and forms of cooperative, associative and solidarity relations between workers, producers and consumers;
  3. practice workplace democracy and self-management.

SSE includes traditional forms of cooperatives and mutual associations, as well as women’s self-help groups, community forestry groups, social provisioning organizations or ‘proximity services’, fair trade organizations, associations of informal sector workers, social enterprises, and community currency and alternative finance schemes. SSE contribute in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals set up in the Agenda 2030. More on this topic can be found in the File:UNTFSSE Advancing the 2030 Agenda through the SSE.pdf and in the File:UNTFSSE Paper for SSE Knowledge Hub for SDGs.pdf

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Social Economy, also referred to in some countries as solidarity economy and/or social and solidarity economy, is made up of a set of organisations such as associations, cooperatives, mutual organisations, foundations, and, more recently, social enterprises. In some cases, community-based, grassroots and spontaneous initiatives are part of the social economy in addition to non-profit organisations, the latter group often being referred to as the solidarity economy. The activity of these entities is typically driven by societal objectives, values of solidarity, the primacy of people over capital and, in most cases, by democratic and participative governance. OECD has carried out many studies and reports with regards to the Legal Framework of SSE in various countries as well as with regards to measures that could support further the SSE. For more information you can see File:OECD Legal frameworks for the SSE.pdf and File:OECD Recommendation of the Council on the SSE and the Social Innovation.pdf

Within the European Union the social economy covers entities sharing the following main common principles and features: the primacy of people as well as social and/or environmental purpose over profit, the reinvestment of most of the profits and surpluses to carry out activities in the interest of members/users (“collective interest”) or society at large (“general interest”) and democratic and/or participatory governance. The European Parliament has approved a specific Action Plan for the Social Economy File:EU Action Plan fo Social Economy CELEX 52021DC0778.pdf

According to RIPESS - Intercontinental network for the promotion of social solidarity economy the SSE is an alternative to capitalism and other authoritarian, state- dominated economic systems. In SSE ordinary people play an active role in shaping all of the dimensions of human life: economic, social, cultural, political, and environmental. SSE exists in all sectors of the economy production, finance, distribution, exchange, consumption and governance. It also aims to transform the social and economic system that includes public, private and third sectors. SSE is not only about the poor, but strives to overcome inequalities, which includes all classes of society. SSE has the ability to take the best practices that exist in our present system (such as efficiency, use of technology and knowledge) and transform them to serve the welfare of the community based on different values and goals. (…) SSE seeks systemic transformation that goes beyond superficial change in which the root oppressive structures and fundamental issues remain intact. For more information you can visit the website

According to REAS - Network of Networks of Alternative and Solidarity Economy of Spain, the SSE promotes and develops alternative initiatives in all spheres of the economic cycle from values related, among others, to cooperation, reciprocity, self-management and solidarity, from a transformative perspective that seeks to build more communitarian, democratic, equitable, inclusive and sustainable. The SSE has the human being at the center and is based on the principles of equity, decent work, cooperation, sustainable ecology, fair distribution of wealth and commitment to the environment. For more information you can visit the website


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Pages in category "Social and Solidarity Economy"

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Media in category "Social and Solidarity Economy"

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