Key concepts on Managers and Management in the Social Economy
The social economy: French origins
In the second part of the nineteenth century, organizations have been created by the need for solidarity and collective responses to the needs of their members: supply, financing, job creation and development of activities in certain areas and in areas in growth: health, protection of persons and property ...
Faithful to their principles, these organizations are gradually opening up to new societal needs that were not covered, while maintaining their spirit of solidarity and mutual housing, fight against inequality, social integration, assistance to seniors and disabilities, fair trade, sustainable development ...
A charter of the social economy has existed since 1980 and is based on three main principles:
- These are partnerships and not capital
- Each member, partner or cooperator has a voice in decision-making bodies
- The purpose of the action is not profit
Businesses and organizations of the ESS are structured in networks and sectoral groups (families) who have, often, their variations at different territorial levels: national, regional, county, local (country, city, community of municipalities)
Each "family" has a headend, intended to represent all stakeholders in the area:
- French Mutual Health for mutuals (now FNMF)
- The Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (GEMA)
- The National Group Cooperation, for cooperatives (CNG became coop.fr)
- The Standing Conference of Associations (CPCA), for associations.
These "families" were grouped within the Business Council, employers and associations of the Social Economy (SOMA), which aims to represent and defend the social economy at national level.