SOLIDARITY ECONOMY ENTERPRISES IN BRAZIL: An overview from the second national mapping Adriane
The International Comparative Social Enterprise Models – ICSEM PROJECT -
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This paper constitutes an input from the Solidarity Economy and Co-operative Economics Research Group at Unisinos (Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, an university in southern Brazil) to the theoretical debate promoted in the scope of the ICSEM Project, a broad research project whose main purpose is to compare social enterprise models and their respective institutionalization processes across the world. The ICSEM Project relies on the participation of a large number of researchers from several areas in the globe, who contribute by providing country-specific or field-specific analysis of social enterprise models. The field of analysis is delineated as made of organizations that combine an entrepreneurial dynamics to provide services or goods with the primacy of their social aims. This definition stresses specific governance models, often found in social enterprises, rather than the profile of social entrepreneurs. A democratic control or a participatory involvement of stakeholders and citizens reflect a quest for more economic democracy inside the organization, in the line of the tradition of cooperatives and, more recently, of the Social and Solidarity Economy.
Examining the current layout of empreendimentos econômicos solidários (solidarity economy enterprises) in Brazil, this paper builds itself on continuous studies intertwined with SIES Project, promoted by the National Secretariat for Solidarity Economy in association with Unisinos. The main observational support for these studies has been data coming from the second National Mapping of Solidarity Economy, the analysis of which will enable, throughout the paper, to establish a retrospective notion of the experiences of solidarity economy in the country, distinguish its main current expressions and propose a theoretical model to ends of qualifying such experiences and comparing them to other national scenarios.