What is the Social Economy? Simply put, it is a market that is based on the principles of solidarity, equality, and mutuality. This market includes a diverse array of organisations, enterprises, foundations, and mutuals that share a common purpose. As such, it is often called the “new economy.”
Founded in 1989, the French term “societe sociale” inspired the European concept. In 1989, the Delors Commission created the first European Social Economy Unit. It has been referred to as CMAFs in official documents. The European Commission’s EQUAL Community Initiative includes Social Economy as one of nine themes. Currently, the Social Economy represents over 2 million enterprises and employs over 14 million paid workers across the European Union. In Ireland, social economy has a robust network and supports rural transport schemes for people who live in remote areas.
Governments are encouraged to collect statistics on the social economy. Social economy statistics should include both traditional indicators and those that measure social and environmental impacts. The Social Progress Index, for instance, measures the social needs of citizens and aggregates 35 social indicators. But what about the world’s most pressing economic problems? Why is it important to measure social welfare? How can we address them? We can begin by asking ourselves, what are we doing to improve our society?
Organizations in the Social Economy can range from charities and nonprofits to for-profit businesses. Listed below are some of the most common types of organizations in the world. Social economy organizations include nonprofits, for-profit companies, cooperatives, credit unions, and hybrid organizations. Hybrid organizations have a social mission and may generate revenue for a partner nonprofit. So, what exactly does the Social Economy mean? In short, it’s an industry in which profit and social welfare go hand-in-hand.