The textbook is prepared by the FEIS Foundation
The textbook is prepared by the FEIS Foundation
Definition of social economy is required to show the proper economic context in which social enterprises operate. The general definition of the term is also necessary for the proper calculation of the objectives to implement the various laws relating to such companies. Furthermore, the term social economy is useful to define social enterprises themselves It should be noted, however, that there is no single definition of the leading social economy
Social economy itself is a kind of concept, defined differently by various economists, but having some common features. Since this is an economic concept, is subject is also frequently transformed according to the changing economic context In the simplest terms, the social economy can be considered as part of the economy in which social enterprises operate.
Through this methodology, the term creates some kind of context that provides tools to specify these entities. In this approach, the social economy is a necessary background for the presentation of the legal framework for social economy enterprises
The concept of social economy is not a new concept. This term was created in the nineteenth century and was initially related to the social movement, creating an alternative concept for present-day capitalism At the beginning of the twentieth century term mainly linked with the broader cooperative movement, which had should be remedy for differences in society.
By the influence of the third sector (also called non – profit sector), the social economy has been redefined Present-day economic doctrine has not treat the term as a new branch of economics, or as an alternative to the classical approach of a market economy.
Entities operating in the social economy operate mostly in micro economic, using a specific place left by the business sector entities that are not interested in an activity because of the inability to achieve sufficient profit In functional term, the social economy can be defined by its functions in a market economy, civil society and democratic state.
In this perspective, the social economy can be described as activity of the various social entities on the economic market.
In contrast to the business sector, the main purpose of these entities is not for profit I the midst of other tasks, which are in general different social purposes, the most important is to prevent social exclusion.
On the other hand, these entities differs from the public sector by theirs lack of control over with the public administration (which does not mean the lack of controls in general) Social economy must also be separated from the third sector in traditional meaning
Generallyspeaking,thesocial economyistheso-calledsphere, inwhichsocialenterprises operatingattheinterfacebetween sectors:private,publicandnongovernmental.
Today, the term "social economy" is used in many different senses, and the same expression has different definitions depending on the cultural background.
The phrase "social economy" (economie sociale) is used mainly in France and continental Europe. In France, it is also popular "economic cooperation" term.
In Spanish-speaking countries, the term "popular economy (general)", "labor economics" or "solidarity economy". In English economists uses the term "economic community" or "community development" . It can be assumed that, as a rule, these terms are identical.
In contrast, significant differences exist in the meaning of the social economy between the Anglo-Saxon countries and continental Europe.
In a world that's more connected than ever, understanding the ins and outs of the social economy is no longer a "niceto-have" – it's a must-have. And for us, the young folks at the heart of our organization, there's never been a more exciting time to get involved.
So, what's this "social economy" we're talking about? It's this cool space that exists between the typical profit-hungry business world and the government's realm It's a mix of ventures like co-ops, nonprofits, and foundations, where the main game isn't just making cash but also making a positive impact - be it social, environmental, or cultural. It's about creating a better world, and that's why we should be all in.
Power to the Youth: It's all about empowering us, the young ones Social economy models bring democracy to the table, encouraging us to stand up, speak out, and drive change in our communities. We're not just spectators here; we're gamechangers.
Green Vibes: As the folks who'll be taking care of this planet long after the older generation, sustainability is our gig Social economy gets this - it's all about people and the planet over profits.
Innovate and Create: In a world that's changing at lightning speed, being able to think on our feet and come up with fresh ideas is key Luckily, the social economy is a playground for creativity and innovation It's not about doing business as usual; it's about breaking the mold and doing something that matters.
Inclusivity is Cool: The social economy doesn't just talk about inclusion; it walks the walk It's all about bringing everyone, especially those who usually get left out, into the fold This is more than just good business - it's about fostering empathy, understanding, and truly being a global citizen.
The social economy provides young people with a unique and practical context to develop a diverse set of skills. It's not just about crunching numbers or marketing products; it's about understanding how to make an impact.
It offers a range of roles across various sectors, such as health, education, environmental sustainability, and more. By engaging with the social economy, young people can gain valuable work experience, expand their professional network, and explore potential career paths
The social economy encourages young people to start their own ventures It provides a platform where they can launch their own cooperative or nonprofit, taking a business idea from concept to reality while also serving their community.
The social economy gives young people a voice It encourages them to take an active role in their communities, to stand up for what they believe in, and to drive change This empowers them to become more confident and assertive in all aspects of their lives.
It encourages young people to think beyond their immediate surroundings and consider global issues This perspective helps them understand their role in the wider world, fostering a sense of global citizenship
The social economy isn't just about doing well – it's about doing good. It allows young people to contribute to their communities and to the world in a meaningful way, making a tangible difference in people's lives
The social economy isn't just something for young people to learn about; it's a tool that they can use to help them grow, develop, and make a positive impact on the world. It offers them the chance to get involved, get their hands dirty, and start making a difference right now.
For young people, the social economy offers a promising avenue to contribute to their society and economy. It can provide them with opportunities to gain practical experience, develop entrepreneurial skills, and play a meaningful role in addressing social and environmental challenges.
Furthermore, it's a promising field for young entrepreneurs who want to combine business with social goals. The supportive environment created by local authorities and the EU offers a great starting point for young people to engage in the social economy and shape a more inclusive and sustainable future.
One of the beautiful things about the social economy is that it's a space open to everyone - beginners and experts alike. So, if you're a young person with a burning desire to make a difference but you're not quite sure where to start, don't sweat it! You don't need years of experience or a fancy degree to kick off a social enterprise Here's why:
Learning as You Go: The truth is, there's no better teacher than experience. Starting a social business is an opportunity to learn hands-on, gain practical skills, make mistakes, and grow from them So even if you're starting from scratch, each step you take will be a step towards becoming more knowledgeable and proficient
Supportive Community: The social economy is not a dog-eatdog world It's a community of like-minded people who are all driven by the same mission - to do good So, you'll find plenty of peers, mentors, and networks who are more than willing to share advice, provide guidance, and help you navigate the hurdles.
Access to Resources: There are tons of resources out there to help young people start their own social business This could be in the form of start-up grants, business development workshops, online courses, and more. There are even organizations that exist solely to help young social entrepreneurs succeed, providing things like mentorship, funding, and training programs.
Leveraging Technology: With the power of the internet, you have the world at your fingertips. You can learn almost anything online, connect with people and organizations worldwide, and use digital tools to streamline your operations In this digital age, setting up a social business is more accessible than ever
Partnerships and Collaborations: You don't have to do it all alone. In the social economy, partnerships and collaborations are commonplace So, if there's something you don't know how to do, chances are, there's someone out there who does, and they'd be happy to collaborate.
In conclusion, don't let inexperience stop you from stepping into the world of the social economy The key isn't having all the answers; it's being passionate, resilient, and open to learning. There's a whole world of support out there for young social entrepreneurs, and every journey starts with a single step. So, why not take that step today?
Europe has a rich history of social economy entities. From mutual societies to cooperatives, from foundations to social enterprises, this alternative economic paradigm has found a fertile ground in Europe. Today, it represents a significant part of the European economy, contributing to job creation, social cohesion, regional development, environmental responsibility, and innovation.
The European Union has recognized the social economy's value and its role in achieving key EU objectives, including job creation, social cohesion, and sustainable growth. Here's how the EU is stepping up to support the social economy:
Legislative Support: The EU works to provide a favorable legal and fiscal framework for social economy entities, enabling them to thrive. This includes efforts to create a European Statute for mutual societies and cooperatives, which could help such organizations operate cross-border.
Financial Support: The EU offers financial support to social economy entities through various programs and funds. For instance, the European Social Fund (ESF), Europe's main instrument for supporting jobs, is often used to finance social economy projects. The EU also has the Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI), which provides financial support to micro-credit providers and social enterprises.
Promoting Social Innovation: The EU places a strong emphasis on social innovation as a way to address societal challenges. It encourages and supports social enterprises and projects that offer innovative solutions to social problems, through programs like Horizon Europe
Network Building: The EU fosters exchange and collaboration between social economy entities across member states. One such initiative is the Social Economy Europe, an EU-level representative institution for the social economy.
Research and Data Collection: The EU promotes research into the social economy to help improve understanding and visibility of the sector. This data helps shape policies and practices that further support the growth and impact of the social economy.
Education and Training: The EU supports the integration of social economy in education and training programs, helping to raise awareness and build capacities in this field.
Head: authority / system of governing
Hands: target groups/ beneficiaries
Body: members/ workers etc.people involved
Legs: usual goals / objectives advantages& disadvantages
they are organised democratically and their profits are not distributed in proportion to the share capital contributed by their members
market they operate on the market, from which they obtain their main source of funding
Usually each member is also a worker and shareholder
both the nonfinancial corporations sector and the financial corporations sector and in practically every kind of activity
Member = worker Full time activity Much more professional, Usually under the company law
the primacy of the assets (property), one or two bodies that govern (board or council), founder
local development no members or shareholders
focus on areas ranging from the environment, social services, health and education, to science, research, arts and culture
hey each have an established and reliable income source, which allows them to plan and carry out work over a longer term
organised democratically, with separation of powers between: all members (regular meetings), board/manage ment (executive power) and in option the council (supervision)
social role and are involved in the development of collective action
dedicated to their members and the general interest partners of public authorities in their mission of services of general interest
different societal functions, such as provision of services, militant activities, assistance, integration and training
primacy of the individual and of social objectives over capital they are not for profit orientated and that they aim at contributing to the general interest
The Foundation for European Initiatives in Silesia (FEIS) is mainly engaged in supporting young people in the areas of volunteerism, civil society building and non-formal education
The mission of the FEIS Foundation is to broaden the horizons of young people and supplement their education in areas that are neglected by the traditional education system. Our foundation is based in Bytom - Upper Silesia in Poland. However we work with organizations fro Europe!
In 2023, our foundation conducted an int course , "Youth Social Economy TC" in B was attended by participants from Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Greece, Belgium, Malta and Italy.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission under the Erasmus+ Programme This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein