Social Economy in Quebec by Numbers
– 7000 collective companies employ more than 150K people
– About 7 billion dollars of sales is 8% of the GDP
-65% of rated of survival after 5 years, compared with for SEM traditional
– Branches of Industry (arts and culture, food processing industry, retail trade environment real estate collective, leisure, tourism, ICT, media, manufacturers.)
As a Social Economy global leader, NANCY NEAMTAN manages Chantier de l’Economie Social a non-profit organization created in 1997, from a very difficult contex. At that time, the youth wanted to dare due to the low rate of unemployment and the various budgetary restrictions . She explained to us that the social economy is a convergence of entrepreneurs who work for the interest of the community (cooperatives, local development movement in rural areas) and city of Montreal. The vision of social movement is to regain control of the economy so that its becomes the advantage of the community in a context of rarity of resources. It’s about make more with less and imagine things differently. Here it is all about innovation and answering the social cultural and environmental needs for our community.
Today in Quebec, we are an ecosystem with the help of this partnership and this social economy.
Her organization includes a network of researchers, trade unions, workers, etc. We describe an ecosystem with financial tools; for instance social investment network in Quebec.
The lawsuits unanimously in the National Assembly in October 2014 showed us that this economy is important for the development of Quebec, regions and communities where we have to recognize it in our policy, our programs and in the instruments which we use for the development of the economy.To achieve it, we need social entrepreneurs and partners such as the United Nations Program for Development, to create a way of future for the African women and for the development of our community. To achieve it we have to fight enormously our prejudices which say that the economy is the stock exchange, the investment, the financial yields and nevertheless it is far from being the economy.
We know that economy is how to produce goods and services, how to exchange them. This can be made in several ways:
– A private Economy profit-seeking
-A family economy
-A social economy that is taken care by the collective companies
It’s about regaining control of the economy and to counter theories which dominate the question of the economy that let large companies create wealth and fall later: Regan’s theory. The OECD is telling us that for 30 years we have never had so much wealth in the world and gaps between rich and poor has never been so big in Quebec or Canada. If we thought of an economy from innovation (share wealth) maybe the world would fit better .
There is a great number of people who undertake because they want to change the world unfortunately they don’t talk about it enough and more and more that movement is growing in the heart of the economy. Mr Jacques DAHOU in his speech explained his vision of the Quebec Economy and the vision of his government:
The social economy is important for the development of our economy and it’s a good investment
The use of ICTs in Social Economy
To grow, Chantier de l’économie sociale started with a mission and purpos : to see an equal society and a more democratic economy which serves human being. And it’s the same thing for the ICTs. That means take tools to understand them, to build our own tools at the needs. Take tools that already exist, to be able to fit into another type of mission for the common good; this through the construction of networks and the information sharing.
ICTs vision and social innovation for the movements of democratization
The social economy sector goes farther ; individual creates company. The sharing is not only the production. We also share the process of decision and the profits. That involved a vision of democratization of social economy and in the same way democratization of ICT. Social conomy, link together can have a bigger impact and this is how to achieve that vision:
– Talk about it: promote the social economy sector to be able to create wealth and democracy
– Work in a network : several companies of social economy do not work in network. It is necessary to put themselves together. The government of Quebec wants to launch a digital strategy which everyone should influence so that the new technologies are to aid community and citizens
– Choose relevant financial tools: to finance we need tangible informations and things which we can verify (ICT gives us the means)
More about Nancy Neamtan