Barometer 2011 of social entrepreneurship
While the dominant economic model of globalized financial capitalism has shown
its dangers and its limits since 2008, another economy is emerging on the most diverse of terrains, beneath the radar of current affairs. Thousands of reparative and innovative initiatives are weaving a new type of solidarity on
the local level. Though their realities are very diverse, they share essential
characteristics: an economic project benefitting social utility, ethical implementation, democratic governance and a dynamic of development
founded on local roots and citizen mobilization.
Assembled under the name of social and solidarity-based economics*(SSE), these initiatives open new channels, because they are designed to produce, consume, and make decisions in an alternative manner. Concretely, they bear proof that economic projects can succeed on the competitive market while being more respectful of people, the environment,and territories.
They are namely: fair trade, inclusive finance, small farming and short
circuits, human services (support to early childhood, the elderly, etc.), integration by economic activity, access to healthcare, public housing, complementary currencies, eco-construction, international solidarity and solidarity tourism, activity and job cooperatives, recycling plants and facilities, carpooling and mobility aid, cooperative internet and free software, associations and cultural spaces… They are present anywhere someone promotes the search for the common good, and everyone can benefit from it one way or another in their daily lives.
This “other economy” is entirely in line with the values and the tradition
of social economics, that of associations, cooperatives and mutual companies,
which was born at the end of the 19th century in reaction to a first industrial revolution that was particularly brutal. Social economy now represents 200,000 enterprises in France, or more than 2 million employees and
10% of the created national value.
Far from being a French exception, “the other economy” is present and developing throughout the world, in Europe as well as on other continents.
By its responsiveness and the solidarity that it implements, SSE constitutes
an immediate local response to the consequences of the global crisis.
Beyond that, its values and practices can encourage public authorities, enterprises and citizens to change their behavior to tend towards a more interconnected, more even, and more responsible economy.
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