For the purpose of better understanding this research, it is of crucial importance to address the key terms and factors that will represent the basis of my research and can provide more clearance for the topics that will be discussed further in my research. In this chapter, the reader will be able to gain a basic understanding of social economy and solidarity economy, its origins, and the purpose of each type of economy individually. After dissecting and explaining each type of economy separately, throughout the historical period we will see how the merging concepts of the two came to be, and created a concept that my research will be based on, called Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE). Furthermore, into the research we will address the importance, the purpose and relevance of the concept.
The term Social Economy was first used back in. Historians believe that the first modern cooperative movement was found in North England by Rochadale Pioneers who were in a search for more affordable replacement to poor-quality food, “using any surplus to benefit the community. Generally, the social economy as a concept is driven by the idea and “values of solidarity, the primacy of people over capital, democratic and participative governance and community building, and is usually referred to as sets of organizations such as cooperatives, mutual associations and foundations.
In the above-mentioned statement, the term ‘social’ refers to a certain type of ownership, meaning that the social ownership is held by individuals (people) and not by shareholders. Cooperatives and mutual are the most common and the most important types of social economy organizations (Poirier, 2014, p. 5). The research has shown seven basic principles upon which cooperatives function, and those are voluntary and open membership, democratically controlled by members, member economic participation followed by autonomy and independence. It offers education, training and information to members, emphasizes cooperation among cooperatives and most importantly it serves the community.
The spread of the concept of solidarity economy (SE) is not old but rather a newer concept that emerged recently. The emergence of this notion has its roots in the French speaking countries like Belgium, province of Canada, Quebec and France, and South America. Nevertheless, the more recent appearance leads back to the territory of English-speaking countries, and has emerged in.
The notion became widely known in the South American region when Luis Razeto published a book called “Solidarity Economy and a Democratized Market” in 1984. In his book he mentions Pope John Paul II and his speech in where he states that the economy of solidarity presents hope for the South American region. In the French speaking countries, the term became widely spread in the eighties, and was most used by activists in France.