Social economy

  • the social economy is formed by a rich diversity of enterprises and organisations, such as cooperatives, mutuals, associations, foundations, social enterprises and paritarian institutions, sharing common values and features:

    • primacy of the individual and the social objective over capital
    • voluntary and open membership
    • democratic governance
    • combination of interests of members/users and/or the general interest
    • defence and application of the principles of solidarity and responsibility
    • autonomous management and independence from public authorities, though cross-sector collaboration is common[1]
    • reinvestment of at least most of the profits to carry out sustainable development objectives, services of interest to members or of general interest


    social economy enterprises and organisations have different sizes, ranging from smes to large companies and groups that are leaders in their markets, and operate in all the economic sectors.

  • history
  • third sector
  • international comparisons
  • see also
  • references
  • external links
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The social economy is formed by a rich diversity of enterprises and organisations, such as cooperatives, mutuals, associations, foundations, social enterprises and paritarian institutions, sharing common values and features:

  • Primacy of the individual and the social objective over capital
  • Voluntary and open membership
  • Democratic governance
  • Combination of interests of members/users and/or the general interest
  • Defence and application of the principles of solidarity and responsibility
  • Autonomous management and independence from public authorities, though cross-sector collaboration is common[1]
  • Reinvestment of at least most of the profits to carry out sustainable development objectives, services of interest to members or of general interest


Social economy enterprises and organisations have different sizes, ranging from SMEs to large companies and groups that are leaders in their markets, and operate in all the economic sectors.