Social and Solidarity Economy

The social and solidarity economy concept refers to enterprises, organizations, and innovations that combine production of goods, services, and knowledge with achieving economic and social goals as well as solidarity building.

Ideas of social economy emerged in Europe in the first half of the 19th century. In many countries working-class people experienced a deterioration of living conditions because of the expansion of industrial capitalism. Representatives of the peasants and workers launched self-help groups and initiatives such as cooperatives and mutual benefit societies that were independent of the traditional philanthropy of the wealthy. Some examples of this are the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers and Robert Owen in England, Raiffeisen cooperatives in Germany, Charles Fourier and Philippe Buchez in France, and Stansław Staszic and Wacław Bliziński ...

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