What is the Social Economy?
Social economy is a part of the economy driven primarily by collective interests and social and environmental objectives. Social enterprises and social economy organisations put impact (i.e. the greater good) before profits.
Furthermore, the social economy business model aims to reinvest most of the profits back into the organisation and/or a social cause and have a participatory/democratic form of governance.
According to the OECD, "the social economy contributes to social and economic resilience given the nature of its activity and the business models that are more equipped to resist shocks." This has also been proven during the COVID-19 crisis.
What is the European Action Plan for the Social Economy?
Considering the potential of social economy organisations to address societal challenges and contribute to sustainable and inclusive economic growth, the EU has launched various initiatives over the last decade to support social enterprises and the social economy.
However, boosting the social economy has become an increasingly important topic for the new European Commission. The relevance of the topic has further increased due to the pandemic and the recovery processes. 2021 will be especially pivotal for the social economy as the new action plan is supposed to ready by the 4th quarter of the year.
The Action Plan seeks to "enhance social investment and social innovation and boost the potential of social enterprises to create jobs, including for those furthest from the labour market."
What is a Roadmap?
Roadmaps aim to inform citizens and stakeholders about the European Commission's work in order to allow them to provide feedback and to participate effectively in future consultation activities.
Citizens and stakeholders are invited to provide views on the Commission's understanding of the problem and possible solutions and to make available any relevant information that they may have.
How can I provide my feedback?
All you have to do is go to the Roadmap website, sign in with your EU Login, read through the Roadmap document, adhere to the feedback rules (i.e. be polite) and submit your thoughts in 4000 characters or less. You can give feedback as a private citizen or as an institutional body.
If you do not have anything to share yourself, you can also read what others have had to say. For example, Region Örebro County, project partner in the RaiSE project, has already shared its opinion which you can read.
PS! For fresh ideas, you can also check out:
- Our latest policy brief (January 2021) on The social economy and support to social enterprises in the European Union
- Our participatory lab session during EURegionsWeek (October 2020) on "Reuse and repair”
- Our webinar (March 2020) on “Business support schemes for Social Enterprises”
Also, don't miss out on the European Social Economy Summit held digitally on 26-27May!
Credit: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
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