"Social economy.” It’s a term we increasingly hear in media, business and certainly the academic sphere. Yet, its meaning is not always clear.
Social economy combines two terms that many regard as opposites. "Economy" refers largely to the creation of wealth through the production of goods and services, while "social" refers to the life, welfare and relationships of a given community.
But these terms are not incompatible: they are not mutually exclusive. In Canada, thousands of companies dubbed social enterprises sell goods or services while pursuing a social mission to meet one or multiple needs of a specific community. The results are then reinvested rather than turned into private profit.
Agnès Beaulieu, Director General at Insertech and Soraya Martinez, Director of Partnerships and Philanthropy at TOHU, describe the challenges and strengths of the social enterprise business model:
Insertech | How Insertech Sets High Standards for Social Enterprises
Insertech repairs and refurbishes IT equipment. It also employs and trains individuals who find it difficult to enter the job market. Learn how this business gave 150 000 computers a second life and 900 young adults a new start.
TOHU | House of Culture & Covergence
TOHU is a platform for circus arts. It has helped Montreal’s accession as the international capital for circus arts. Learn how this organization positioned itself as a benchmark for sustainable development in a cultural arena, while achieving global renown.