November is Social Economy Month in Quebec and in some parts of the world. More than 220,000 people work in social economy enterprises in Quebec. In a single year, the 11,200 social economy enterprises generate revenues of $47.8 billion. Three quarters of these enterprises serve mainly a local clientele. These are some of the highlights of the social economy’s contribution to society.
In the social economy, enterprises take various forms: NPOs, cooperatives, mutuals that involve their members, often their staff and clients. The goal is to meet the needs of their members and their community. Collective enterprises “are driven by values of inclusion, participation, respect for individuals and the environment.”
According to Laurent Levesque, Chairman of the Board of Directors the Chantier de l’économie sociale, the social economy is the “locomotive of the new economy. He points out that the mantra and the history of collective entrepreneurship in Quebec unquestionably support the political statements heard recently: “When we get together, we are capable of great things.
The Quebec model attracts the attention of the UN
During the UN delegation’s visit to Quebec in early October 2023, Chantier de l’économie sociale highlighted “the international interest in Quebec’s social economy ecosystem.” The organization took the opportunity to present the characteristics of the Quebec model and the elements that contribute to its success.
“The social economy, particularly in Quebec, is a development model in which the most promising and innovative solutions emerge from the communities themselves, supported by local structures such as the Pôles d’économie sociale. And that’s the key to success: understanding that by supporting the structures and organizations that support communities, we support and strengthen the entire ecosystem,” mentioned Laurent Levesque, during the visit.
A few reminders
- On April 18, 2023, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution Promoting the Social Solidarity Economy for Sustainable Development, after years of effort by the Working Group.
- There are 22 social economy clusters across Quebec. Each offers a wide range of services tailored to community needs. Find out more about economic social enterprises in the Pôle de Longueuil and the Pôle de Montréal. (In French only)